BHUBANESWAR: The sensational story of senior IFS officer Abhay Kant Pathak - who was arrested for amassing massive wealth disproportionate to his income - cast its shadow on the ruling party as Dr Pradeep Kumar Panigrahi, former Minister and Biju Janata Dal MLA from Gopalpur in Ganjam district, was on Sunday expelled from the primary membership of the party.
Though BJD attributed his expulsion for his ‘anti-people activities’ following an order from Chief Minister and party supremo Naveen Patnaik, Panigrahy’s alleged personal links with the IFS officer and his son cost him his place in the ruling party.
The former minister was under the scanner ever since Pathak’s son Akash, also arrested in the case and under probe for fake recruitments impersonating as a top executive of Tata Motors, came under radar. The investigating agencies like Crime Branch and State Vigilance have come across interview details and letter of intent issued to job seekers of Gopalpur purportedly by Akash. They are probing alleged financial transaction in the recruitments.
The State Vigilance, during its raid, had found Rs 9.4 crore in the bank accounts of Akash of which Rs 8.4 crore was made in cash deposits at Bhubaneswar. Another Rs 70 lakh was deposited in Ganjam. The MLA was apparently planning to solemnise the marriage of his daughter with the son of the suspended IFS officer before the corruption case unfolded.
With the BJD facing heat on the floor of the State Assembly over the Nayagarh minor girl murder, the party chief did not want to give another opportunity to the Opposition to corner the government over the IFS officer’s case.