BHUBANESWAR: Pushed to a corner over the arrest and interrogation of party leaders by CBI, BJD President and Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today said his government was not involved in the multi-crore chitfund scam.
"The government after all is not involved in this (scam)," he said while participating in an interactive session held on occasion of the Odisha Literary Festival, organised by the New Indian Express.
Claiming that the state government has taken steps in the chitfund scam by ordering investigation by the crime branch of police, Patnaik said, "We have done our best to clean up the mess."
Patnaik's statement is significant in view of the fact that the state government had signed an MoU with Seashore Group, one of the 44 ponzi companies allegedly involved in the chitfund scam.
The state government had handed over about a dozen of hospitals and certain tourist spots to Seashore Group for operation. The state government had also entered into agreement with the Seashore company for setting up a maize factory at Umarkote in Nabarangpur district.
Senior minister in charge of Excise Department Damodar Rout had recently told reporters that he as the Health Minister in the previous government, had cancelled the agreement with the Seashore Group.
Seashore Group CMD Prashant Dash and AT Group CMD Pradeep Sethy are presently lodged in jail after their arrest.
BJP leader Bijay Mohapatra accused Patnaik of promoting Seashore Group.
"Patnaik attended a function of Seashore Group and promoted it despite a cautionary (word) issued by the central government in 2004," Mohapatra said.