Bhubaneswar: In the wake of the stinging remarks of the leader of the Opposition Narasingh Mishra on Tuesday targeting chief minister Naveen Patnaik in the State Assembly on the issue of deposit of Rs 8 crore in the BJD bank account on a particular day, Law minister Arun Sahu on Wednesday said the Congress leader has gone senile.
“This is the third time that the Opposition leader has tried to mislead the State Assembly and the people of Odisha by furnishing wrong and false information. Earlier, he had tendered an apology to the House twice for giving wrong information,” he told media persons here.
Sahu said the Opposition leader had told the House yesterday that Srikrushna Padhi and his father Purna Chandra Padhi of village Dahisada under Soro police station limits in Balasore district had transferred the chit money to the bank account of the BJD. Purna Chandra Padhi is now in jail for his links with the Artha Tatwa (AT) Group chit fund company.
“There is another Purna Chandra Padhi, who is an employee of the BJD and a native of Ratha Sahi village under Purusottampur police station limits in Ganjam district. But the Opposition leader thought that this man is the father of Srikrushna Padhi. From this, I believe that Mishra has gone senile.”
He said the BJD strongly condemns the act of Mishra in bringing false allegations through questions wasting the precious time of the State Assembly in the process and demands his unconditional apology in the House.
Maintaining silence over Mishra's allegation of Rs 8 crore deposited in the said account on a single day, the Law minister said it is no secret that political parties received funds from General Electoral Trust between 2000 and 2014.
"While Congress received Rs 100 crore from the General Electoral Trust between 2000 and 2014, BJP's share was Rs 70 crore. The BJD has received about Rs 13 crore from the said trust," the law minister said.
"We fail to understand how the leader of Opposition raised this matter. Is it due to his ignorance or has he been trying to mislead the people?" he asked.
Sahoo said the BJD has already informed the Election Commission about its income and expenditure besides filing income tax returns as per law.
Reacting to the statement of the Law Minister dubbing Mishra 'senile', Congress chief whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati said a similar statement was given by the then BJD minister AU Singhdeo in the Assembly against Mishra on the issue of setting up of a medical college and hospital in Balangir.
“The ex-BJD minister subsequently got a taste of his own medicine as he was defeated by Mishra in the last Assembly election,” he reminded.
Citing the instance of former Finance minister Prafulla Chandra Ghadei, who was expelled from the BJD for his statement that the party supremo and chief minister is 'brain dead', Bahinipati said the time will come when the present Law minister, will become old while still young.
“The Congress will give a fitting reply to the statement of Arun Sahu,” he maintained.
Challenging the BJD members, Bahinipati said; “I request them to be truthful and confront the Opposition if they have the guts.”
Referring to the issue of bank account of the BJD, which was raised by the leader of the Opposition in the State Assembly yesterday, he said the Law minister admitted that the bank account is in the name of his party which is credited with Rs 8 crore on a single day.
"Our question is how Padhi, who is an employee of Naveen Nivas, could arrange Rs 8 crore on a single day and deposited the amount in the BJD account?" Bahinipati asked.
Stating that the BJD government strongly believes in note and vote, he said the Congress may not be able to form the government. “But it is true that the party has fought for the people and will continue to fight for them,” he pointed out.