Bhubaneswar: Congress chief whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati landed in a soup after it emerged that arrested former Sanakhemundi MLA Ramesh Jena and his associates were staying in the official quarters of the Jeypore MLA and allegedly running their criminal activities from there.
In a startling revelation, it has now come to the fore that the identity cards of Ramesh’s criminal aides Santosh Behera and Manoj Khatua, who were among the four dacoits arrested by commissionertae police yesterday, bore the address of Bahinipati’s official residence- house no 14/3 in MLA colony at Unit IV here.
After the revelations, questions are now being asked why the MLA allowed Jena to reside in his quarters and whether he had any business links with the arrested former legislator.
While admitting that he had allowed Ramesh to stay there, Bahinipati, however, denied visiting the house. “The documents of the quarters are in my name. But I had handed it over to Ramesh Jena, who had stayed there during his tenure as MLA. I never go to that house. I do not know what was happening there,” Bahinipati said.
Sources said the government house was a safe haven for the ex-legislator and his associates to operate the crime syndicate.
On the other hand BJD blamed the Congress chief whip for allowing an outsider to stay in the officials quarters. “It is a serious offence if he (Ramesh) was staying there and doing everything in the knowledge of the MLA to whom the house is allotted. It should not be tolerated,” government chief whip Ananta Das said.