BHUBANESWAR: Dubbing Odisha's ruling BJD and main opposition BJP as two sides of a coin, senior Congress leader A Chellakumar on Sunday alleged that the two parties have a "secret pact" to "loot" the state's resources but oppose each other in public to mislead people.
The AICC in-charge of Odisha claimed that the Naveen Patnaik government was compelled to order a high court-monitored probe by a Special Investigation Team (SIT) into the alleged murder of a five-year-old girl in Nayagarh due to pressure mounted by the Congress.
"The BJD and the BJP are like two sides of a coin. The two parties have a secret pact to loot Odisha's resources," the Lok Sabha MP told reporters here.
Claiming that the BJD and the BJP pretend to be opposing each other in public to mislead people, he alleged both the parties want to loot and exploit the people.
Citing instances of how the two parties are "working together" against the interest of the state and its people, Chellakumar said both the outfits shared power from 2000-2009, during which many corruption charges were levelled against the then ministers of both the BJP and the BJD.
Odisha witnessed several scams during that period but nobody from either party was punished, he said.
Dismissing the BJP's allegation that the Congress has been "managed" by the ruling BJD in the assembly over the Nayagarh alleged murder case, Chellakumar asked the saffron party members if they have faith in the Constitution and the sanctity of the Legislature.
"We are ready for any probe or test. Will BJP leaders accept the same?" the Congress leader said.
Referring to the BJP's demand for a CBI probe into the girl's alleged murder case, he said the agency was probing the Rayagada teacher rape-murder case and the prime accused had quit the BJD and joined the saffron party while the investigation was underway.
"This speaks volumes about the moral integrity of the BJP and their faith in the political system. The CBI has failed in finding out the culprits of the gruesome rape-murder case," he said.
The Congress had categorically demanded that the Nayagarh incident be investigated under the supervision of a high court judge.
The pressure created by the grand old party forced the Odisha government to announce a court-monitored SIT probe, which is a "historic victory" for the Congress, he said.
The BJP, however, was demanding CBI inquiry, while it is well known that the agency has failed to give justice to victims in many cases, the Congress leader said.
"Now the question arises as to who is managed by whom," he said.
Observing that BJP's Ashwini Vaishnav was elected as a Rajya Sabha MP with BJD's support last year, Chellakumar said the two parties are together "looting" the state's resources for their own benefit.
"From 2014-2020, the BJD supported several anti-people measures of the Narendra Modi government including demonetisation, GST and new farm bills as both the parties are working together for their common benefits," he said.
Dismissing the allegations, BJP stalwart and opposition leader P K Naik said that Chellakumar should set his own party in order without making comments about others.
"It is well known that the Congress is working hand-in-glove with the BJD in the state assembly," he said.
A senior BJD leader dismissed the allegations.