BHUBANESWAR: The war of words between the BJD and BJP intensified with the ruling party sharpening its attack on Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan over his photograph with the Dhal Samanta brothers.
While the BJD raised the issues of booking of Pradhan’s air ticket by a Vyapam scam accused and his photograph with the person involved in the Petroleum Ministry document leak case, the BJP countered by asking how a person whom the CBI interrogated in connection with the chit fund scam was staying in the Naveen Nivas. BJD spokesperson and former minister Pratap Deb alleged that Pradhan had clicked a photograph with the person accused in the Petroleum Ministry document leak case and an accused person in Vyapam scam had booked his air ticket. This is the third such instance, he said.
Deb said he (Pradhan) should look into his closet before pointing fingers at leaders of other political parties. The BJP also maintained an aggressive posture while defending Pradhan. State president of the party Basant Panda said, “The Chief Minister should think about Saroj who is staying at his house. Even BJD should also think about it.”
Referring to Pradhan’s photograph with Dhal Samanta brothers, Panda said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is responsible as he is the Home Minister for the last 16 years. Panda further said, “The Chief Minister had also given his message along with signature in a magazine published by the Dhal Samanta brothers. Being the Home Minister, if Naveen does not know about the Dhal Samantas, it is very unfortunate.”
“Former minister Sameer De, who represented Cuttack for more than once, must have known about this,” he said.