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Dilip Kumar

Bhubaneswar: A day after Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik referred the investigation into the corruption charges against expelled BJD MLA Pradeep Panigrahi to the State Lokayukta, the State BJP launched a scathing attack at the CM terming him as an offshoot of the Gopalpur legislator.

BJP State General Secretary Lekhashree Samantsinghar said that Pradeep and Naveen are two sides of same coin. "The chief minister is equally guilty in the case of Panigrahi because he is a creation of BJD and its chief. Many other leaders of the ruling party are also involved in various scams and scandals so all such cases need to be investigated by a free and fair agency. But, the ruling party is doing what suits it," she alleged.

The BJD and its president were facilitating Panigrahi to amass property worth crores of rupees, she added demanding action against the BJD supremo akin to that against the Gopalpur legislator.

The BJD is however yet to comment on the remarks of the BJP leader.

The government on Monday handed over the case of Panigrahi to Odisha Lokayukta for investigation. This is the first corruption case referred by the Odisha government to Lokayukta Justice Ajit Singh after the creation of the post in the state.

The ruling BJD expelled Panigrahi on the charges of "anti-people activities" a few days ago. On December 3, the State Crime Branch arrested the MLA for his alleged complicity in the job fraud charges against his would-be son-in-law Akash Pathak, the son of suspended IFS officer Abhay Kant Pathak, who is also in judicial custody in relation to a disproportionate assets case.

(Edited By Suryakant Jena)

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