BHUBANESWAR:Alleging that former minister Damodar Rout has broken the facade of honesty built by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik around himself, the State unit of BJP on Friday demanded a CBI probe into scams raised by the senior law maker.
“Former Bihar chief minister Lalu Prasad Yadav is behind bars for the `400 crore fodder scam. But Naveen Patnaik dismissed the allegations of Rout, once a senior leader of BJD, as irresponsible and ridiculous,” BJP spokesperson Pitambar Acharya told mediapersons here.
Rout raised allegations of `700 crore scam in cooperative sector and irregularities in purchase of saplings, polythene for OMFED milk packets. However, Naveen did not respond to the charges after returning from New Delhi, but tried to divert the allegations by talking about the anti-party activities of Rout, Acharya said.
Expulsion of Rout is an internal matter of BJD, but the manner in which the Chief Minister tried to suppress the charges brought by Rout has raised questions, Acharya said and added that the issues raised by the senior leader have been agitating the people of the State for a long time now.
Acharya criticised the Chief Minister for constituting commissions of inquiry on even ordinary issue. So far, more than two and a half dozen commissions of inquiry have been set up on different issues, but these have yielded no result, he said.
The Chief Minister has always ordered vigilance probe targeting junior functionaries, but given protection to corrupt officials, Acharya said and added that those who have talked about corruption in the government like Prafulla Chandra Ghadei, Baijayant Panda and Damodar Rout have been removed.
The State Government has become a private limited company run by four to five persons who are the directors, Acharya said and threatened that the BJP will launch a state-wide agitation unless the government agrees to order a CBI probe into the allegations raised by Rout. Meanwhile, president of Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) Niranjan Patnaik described allegations of sapling scam and cooperative bank loan scam as ‘ridiculous’ by the Chief Minister is unacceptable though Rout’s expulsion from the BJD is an internal matter of the party.
Stating that BJD does not have a constitution, former Union Minister Braja Kishore Tripathy demanded that his allegations should be probed. “BJD has become a private limited company and people willing change will take no time,” he said.
BJD dismisses BJP allegations
Bhubaneswar: Dismissing BJP’s statement on allegations raised by former minister Damodar Rout as baseless, the BJD on Friday said the issue is being discussed in the Assembly and the State Government will take necessary steps in this regard at the right time. “The issue is being discussed in the Assembly and the State Government will be take necessary steps at the right time. Advice of the BJP spokesperson is not required,” Rajya Sabha MP and BJD spokesperson Pratap Keshari Deb said. “The BJP spokesperson’s comment on the statement given by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on disciplinary action taken against Rout clearly points towards the fact that the saffron party is more interested in the internal affairs other political parties rather than strengthening its own organisation,” he said. Deb said this has raised questions on the organisational strength of BJP and the statement given by the party’s national president Amit Shah to win 120 seats in Odisha is an election stunt. “The BJP spokesperson should not think that BJD leader and its organisation is weak,” he said.