Cassian Baliarsingh

The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday staged a demonstration at Kalpana Square, Bhubaneswar, and demanded a CBI probe into the recent seizure of Rs 350 crore cash linked to Congress' Jharkhand MP. As a mark of protest, the agitators placed baskets of fake currency notes on the road and questioned BJD’s silence in the matter.

Accusing the Naveen Patnaik-led BJD government of liquor trade corruption to the tune of Rs 50,000 crore, the saffron party demanded a detailed CBI probe into the incident. They also demanded a clarification on the ownership of the seized cash and asked if the money belonged to the liquor traders or BJD’s party fund.

“This is not protest. This is an awareness programme for the people of Odisha to know the truth about BJD. They are ruling us for 24 years now, but they claim to have no knowledge about the seized cash, which is surprising. This clearly proves that the government is hand-in gloves with the liquor traders. They use such ill-gotten and black money to fund their elections,” said Bhubaneswar BJP unit president, Babu Singh. 

He further added, “This is just the tip of the iceberg. There are a lot of such illegal trades going on through which BJD makes black money and uses it for their own political gain and campaigning. So, we are today demanding a CBI probe and expose all those ministers, MLA or MPs, or any other political leaders who are involved in this fraud.”
“This money belongs to the poor. They are literally strangling the poor to gain such money. So, a CBI raid will only expose this fraud,” he added.

Another BJP leader, Jagannath Pradhan said, “The state government claims Odisha to be a poor state. So much of much was recovered from just one liquor trader. Imagine how much money can be recovered as the government has allowed such selling of liquor throughout Odisha. We suspect the amount will go above and beyond Rs 50,000 crores.”

“Only CBI probe will bring out the truth. So, we are sitting in protest. We had staged protests in Acharya Vihar, Master Canteen, and now in Kalpana Square. Our agitation will continue till the truth comes out,” he added.

Senior BJP leader, Dilip Malick said, “Odisha has been reduced to ‘madua’ Odisha, ‘dadan’ Odisha and ‘Kala tanka’ Odisha. Our state is being earning all the bad names, thanks to the governance of Naveen babu.”
Meanwhile, BJD leaders could not be contacted over such allegations levelled by BJP leaders.

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