BHAWANIPATNA: Is former BJD MLA Anam Naik a victim of political vendetta or are more skeletons going to tumble out of the district BJD unit’s cupboard as far as corruption is concerned?
The Vigilance raid on Anam and his subsequent arrest for amassing disproportionate assets to the tune of Rs 1.54 crore have not only left many such questions unanswered but also set the rumour mill spinning.
Anam had joined Government service as junior clerk and was posted at the Revenue Department in January, 1985. He worked in different offices in Kalahandi till March 30, 2004. An ambitious Anam then resigned from Government service and entered politics. He was the MLA of Bhawanipatna Assembly segment from 2014 to 2019.
However, after a sting operation on him over mining lease issue he was denied ticket in the last general elections. The BJD ticket went to Dusmanta Naik who had then left Congress but he lost the election to Pradipta Kumar Naik of the BJP.
But along with Anam, sitting MLA Balabhadra Majhi was also denied ticket by the BJD. And after the election, it was alleged that Anam sabotaged the prospect of Dusmanta which, however, was denied by the former. Anam had then clarified that he was waiting to be rehabilitated within the party after election. Many believe that his alleged foul play in Dusmanta’s defeat may be the reason behind the Vigilance raid.
Anam’s supporters, however, say he is a victim of politics of vengeance as not just the ruling party but the Opposition BJP and Congress here are home to several senior leaders who have acquired much more property than what Anam did after joining politics. "Will there be Vigilance cases against the big shots in the BJD, BJP and Congress who have more assets than Anam which they acquired after they were elected?" they questioned.
Interestingly, Anam’s total wealth as per his affidavit in 2014 election stood at Rs 2.64 crore. He was arrested recently by the anti-corruption agency for amassing disproportionate assets to the tune of Rs 1.54 crore.
The arrest came following simultaneous searches at his three-storey building and a commercial building at Naktiguda under Bhawanipatna Town police limits, his duplex lodge and market complex in Madanpur-Rampur town and an under-construction hotel building in Purunapada in Kalahandi district on January 17. He was remanded him in judicial custody till February 5.
Anam had told media that the Vigilance raid was due to political and business rivalry. He had maintained that he provided the details of his property and income tax returns in his declaration form while filing nomination during 2014 Assembly elections.
He asserted that besides income from his business, he has acquired ancestral property and claimed to be a victim of political and business rivalry. Sources said his hotel project in Bhawanipatna had not gone down well with his detractors.
As per the Vigilance FIR, the assets of Anam have been calculated from 1985 to 2019. His lawyers, however, have questioned the motive behind calculating assets from 2005 to 2014 when he was not a public servant. They argued that proper calculation will reveal that there are no disproportionate assets in possession of Anam. Meanwhile, an eerie silence prevails in the district wing of BJD as leaders over Anam’s arrest.