Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Ahead of the February panchayat polls, the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have indulged in mudslinging over the recent ‘expedited’ activities of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) and State Crime Branch in the State.

While the regional party hinted at Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan’s hand behind the Central investigating agency’s recent raids on the residences of party MP and MLA in connection with the multi-crore chit fund scam, the saffron party said to ‘avenge’ the CBI raid, BJD targetted Pradhan.

On Saturday raids were conducted by the anti-corruption vigilance wing at several petrol pumps and cooking gas agencies, including the one belonging to the brother of Dharmendra Pradhan, in Odisha following allegation of adulteration and black-marketing.

“It is unfortunate that while the CBI is investigating the chit fund scam in a normal course, the ruling party thought it to be a target by the BJP. And the Crime Branch raid is clearly seen as a move to counter the CBI activities,” BJP’s Sameer Mohanty said.

“Instead of using Crime Branch, if chief minister Naveen Patnaik has the courage, he must welcome the CBI’s investigation process”, Mohanty stated.

On the other hand, the ruling BJD has termed the Central agency a ‘caged parrot’ and said it is being used by Pradhan.

“Why after two years of the scam surfaced, the CBI is conducting raids on BJD leaders”, asked BJD vice president Dama Rout. “Without anybody’s intervention the agency should do it’s job impartially”, Rout said purportedly hinting at Pradhan.

Meanwhile BJD spokesperson Amar Satpathy said the State government has no role in the raid conducted by the Crime Branch.

“It may be a routine raid. BJD has nothing to do with it”, Satpathy maintained.