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Mrunal Manmay Dash

Bhubaneswar: Accusing Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik of maintaining double standards, State BJP General Secretary Lekhashree Samantsinghar on Friday said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik should be probed in the wake of the arrest of (expelled) party MLA Pradeep Panigrahi on corruption charges.

The Bharatiya Janata Party which has been up in arms over the disproportionate assets case involving tainted IFS officer Abhay Kant Pathak and his son Akash-- and also the subsequent expulsion of Panigrahi from BJD for his alleged links with the Pathaks as well as the MLAs arrest-- trained the guns on CM Naveen Patnaik.

"Pradeep Panigrahi is a product of BJD's ideology and groomed by Naveen Patnaik himself. The system helped him in amassing money through unabated corruption, the lion's share of which was enjoyed by the party. Now that Panigrahi and Pathak are already exposed by the Enforcement Directorate (ED), you are trying to save your skin by getting Panigrahi arrested," asked Lekhashree in an apparent dare to the BJD supremo.

"I do not know what transpired between them, but when the CM himself indulged him for so long, how can he be spared from the stains of corruption. So if Pradeep Panigrahi is guilty, then the CM should also be made to share that guilt as well," she said.

Claiming that the arrest of Panigrahi was politically motivated, senior Congress leader, Suresh Routray said, "When a problem crops up, everything comes out in the open. Pradeep Panigrahi was exposed after his soon to be in-laws (The Pathaks) were arrested by the ED."

"When Panigrahi started dropping names in the Pathak DA case, he was purposefully arrested by the ruling party. He (Panigrahi) paid the price for speaking too much. It is indeed a political vengeance," said Routray.

Meanwhile, terming the steps taken by CM Naveen as righteous and undisputable, BJD leader Chandra Sekhar Sahu said, "I welcome the move by CM Naveen. As far as I know, he never takes a wrong decision."

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