BHUBANESWAR: Senior leaders of the Congress on Tuesday joined hands to corner the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) over the alleged involvement of Ministers, MPs and MLAs in the chit fund scam and announced that a Statewide agitation will be launched to expose the corrupt ruling party politicians who patronised tainted companies.
The Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) took out a rally from the Congress Bhavan here demanding the resignation of Minister of State for Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Sanjay Dasburma for his alleged links with the scam-tainted Artha Tatwa (AT) Group.
Alleging that chit fund companies were being promoted by BJD leaders including Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, OPCC president Prasad Harichandan alleged that the CM struck a deal with Prime Minister Narendra Modi after the CBI interrogation of one of his close aides Saroj Sahu.
Stating that the CBI investigation to the chit fund scam is not proceeding in the right direction, Harichandan alleged that even State BJP leaders raised questions on this issue. He warned that if there is no action against those from the ruling party involved in the alleged scam, the Congress will launch a Statewide agitation.
Leader of the Opposition Narasingh Mishra said the agitation is not against any individual but against corrupt Ministers and leaders. Alleging that Ministers, MPs, MLAs and leaders of the ruling party are involved in the scam, Mishra said the BJD can be defeated in next elections if Congress leaders join hands.
Former OPCC president Niranjan Patnaik said not only Dasburma, several other Ministers and BJD leaders are also involved in the chit fund scam. He said the agitation against the Government will be taken to villages across the State.
Senior leader and former working president Lalatendu Bidyadhar Mohapatra warned that the Congress will now take to the streets to expose the corrupt leaders and Ministers of BJD. Criticising the State Government for its all-round failure, Mohapatra said there are no differences in the Congress and a Statewide agitation will be launched against the BJD Government.
Congress chief whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati alleged that the Chief Minister and several Ministers had promoted the chit fund companies. The Chief of AT Group Pradeep Sethy belongs to Hinjilikatu which is in Chief Minister's Assembly constituency, he said. Congress MLA Naba Kishore Das demanded that action should be taken against all Ministers, ruling party MPs and MLAs involved in the chit fund scam.
Several other senior leaders including former union ministers Srikant Jena and Chandrasekhar Sahu, former speaker Kishore Chandra Patel, former OPCC president Sarat Patnaik and former minister Ganeswar Behera also addressed the meeting.