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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: With the war of words between senior Congress leader Lalatendu Bidyadhar (Lulu) Mahapatra and his arch-rival and BJD minister Sanjay Dasburma reaching a crescendo, veteran BJD leader and minister Damodar Rout today added fuel to the fire saying that these two leaders are not free from criminal activities.

“Lulu has brought allegations against Dasburma that he has received a vehicle from the AT Group chief Pradip Sethi while the latter has asked him to prove it. All I want to say that can a person be held innocent just because his crime has not been proved? If a person is not caught for his crime during investigation, then is he not a criminal?” Rout told media persons here.

Referring to Lulu Mahapatra, who has brought criminal charges against Dasburma, Rout said can the Congress leader claim that he has not done any crime? “Such allegations and counter allegations are really embarrassing,” he added.

In his reaction, BJD spokesperson Pratap Jena said since the CBI is sure that Dasburma is in no way linked to AT Group, it has not brought him under the purview of its investigation. “So one should not cast suspicion on CBI in this matter,” he pointed out.

Reacting to the statement of Rout, Lulu claimed he has not committed any crime. “Does anyone have the guts to say that I was involved in any crime? Have I ever been involved in any single crime either in Brahmagiri or in Odisha?” he asked.

However, Dasburma was not available for comment.

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