Bhubaneswar/New Delhi: Strongly refuting the allegations levelled by former Chhattisgarh CM Ajit Jogi over alleged link with former finance minister P. Chidambaram, the office of the Kendrapara MP Baijayant Panda on Thursday termed them as ‘ridiculous’.
A written reply from the Parliamentarian’s office stated, “These allegations by Shri Jogi are ridiculous. Shri P.Chidambaram had appeared in court as legal counsel for companies connected to Mr Panda’s family. Neither Mr Panda nor any family members have any dealings with Sri Karti Chidambaram.”
The clarification further stated, “Just how ludicrous this is can be seen from the allegation that Smt. Nalini Chidambaram owns shares in one of these companies. It happens to be a public company in which anyone can buy shares and upon checking we have found that only 10 shares are owned in this name.”
“It is sad to see Shri Jogi, who was once a relevant politician reduced to such a pitiable condition of acting as hired gun on behalf of vested interests, making silly allegations. There are strong rumours that this has been orchestrated by an Odisha cadre bureaucrat who has been dabbling in politics and misleading the Chief Minister about many matters.”
“MP Baijayant has been speaking out about this for some months, urging strict action against this bureaucrat being involved in politics and massive corruption,” the clarification read.
Earlier, the MP’s political Secretary Jyoti Prakash Ghose coming out strongly against the statement made by Jogi stated it as false and baseless.
“The allegations brought by former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister are completely fabricated and baseless. It is a political conspiracy against MP as some non-Odia officers, who are not being able to mislead Odisha CM anymore, are trying to divert his attention,” Ghose added.
His reaction came soon after Jogi levelled allegations at a press conference in New Delhi on Wednesday demanding a probe into the matter.
Jogi on Wednesday alleged that two companies owned by the family of BJD MP Baijayant Panda had received undue favours from Chidambaram.
Addressing a press meet, Jogi alleged that Ortel Communication Private Limited, a company owned by Baijayant’s family, got approval of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) during the tenure of P Chidambaram as Union Finance Minister.
Jogi further alleged Chidambaram had a hand in influencing the Ministry of Finance to secure such approval. So, he should be probed for his alleged role in securing FIPB approval, he urged.
The former CM said that though Chidambaram’s wife Nalini is a stake holder of Baijayant- owned Indian Metal Ferro Alloys (IMFA) Ltd, the matter was ignored in the affidavit of the former minister submitted to Election Commission of India.
Moreover, several nationalised banks had waived loans sanctioned to IMFA between 1998 and 2003 during the Vajpayee government, alleged Jogi, adding Chidambaram was advocating in court in favour of IMFA in the loan waiver case during the time.
BJD Vice-President Damodar Rout on the other hand has targeted former Chhattisgarh CM Ajit Jogi on the issue.
“The issue of loan waiver was during the UPA regime and why he (Ajit Jogi) had not raised it then,” questioned Rout.