Bhubaneswar: There seems to be no let up in l’ affaire Pajero involving Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare minister Sanjay Dasburma.
The issue over Dasburma’s alleged links with Artha Tatwa chit fund firm is snowballing so fast that comment from any politician, be it from ruling party or the Opposition, is becoming the talk of the town.
After Friday’s ‘rat’ remark by senior BJD leader Tathagat Satpathy ostensibly aimed at Dasburma, Rajya Sabha MP Pyarimohan Mohapatra referred to the minister as a ‘fish’ on Saturday.
“I will not tell anything against either Sanjay Dasburma or anybody else. Because, there are a lot of big fishes in it (chit fund scam). If the name of Sanjay has surfaced, then he is a small fish,” Mohapatra told media persons here referring to the minister’s role in the multi thousand crore chit fund scam in the State as very small.
When asked about his close relationship with Dasburma in the past, he retorted; “I have good relations with everybody in the BJD. I have not soured my relationship with anybody from my side.”
On Friday, making a veiled attack on the Bramhagriri legislator on the issue, Satpathy had said; “There are a lot of rats in the godowns of Food Corporation of India (FCI) across the country. These rats secretly eat rice, sugar and wheat in the godowns. Should we remove the stacks to save the food grains or check the entry of rats into the godowns?”
“The wise man will pick the rat and put it outside the godown very cleverly. And you don’t need to kill the rat as it will automatically die,” the parliamentarian continued in a scarcely veiled hint at the minister, who has invited criticism from his party members for the alleged favour he received from AT chit fund firm.
Prior to the Dhenkanal MP’s remark, senior party leaders, including Bhartruhari Mahatab, Nagendra Pradhan and Damodar Rout, had also raised fingers at the minister with the Cuttack MP appearing to agree with the Opposition demand for Dasburma to resign on moral grounds.
Pradhan had said those who are in positions of power should respect public opinion for the good of society. Recalling that Lord Ram had banished Sita despite knowing that she was not at fault, he had said; “Though Dasburma claims innocence, the chief minister will take a call on the issue,” the MP said.
Earlier, Mahatab, the leader of the BJD Parliamentary Party in Lok Sabha, had said the Opposition demand for the latter’s resignation was “a good suggestion.”
Commenting on today’s development, BJD MP Kalikesh Singhdeo said, “In case of any decision with regard to the party, it is the party’s president who will take a call. If the government takes any decision, the chief minister will announce. In my opinion leaders from any other party should not comment on any of the party’s affairs.”