Audio CDs trigger war of words between Congress and BJD

Bhubaneswar: After audio CDs were telecast on Friday by OTV containing conversations purportedly between the head of a fraudulent financial company entangled in the multi-crore chit fund scam with two unidentified persons, one of them suspected to be a politician, the war of words between the Congress and BJD flared up on Saturday. While the Congress launched a scathing attack on the ruling party over the issue, the BJD riposte was equally swift.

Even as Congress leader and former Banki MLA Debasish Pattnaik alleged the voice of the “politician” in the CD to be of Banki legislator and government chief whip Prabhat Tripathy, PCC president Jayadev Jena threatened protests over the revelation.

The former Banki legislator urged Tripathy to step down as a MLA to weed out corrupt practices from politics and prove that “he is clean”. Patnaik alleged saying, “The CD contains conversations relating to Banki Mahotsav and Prabhat Tripathy plays a critical role in organizing the Mahotsav. It’s my strong belief that the voice is that of Prabhat Tripathy”.

On the other hand, PCC chief Jena said the name of “the caller” should be made public and he should be put behind bars. Jena said, “The name of the caller, whether he is a minister, MLA, government chief whip or MP, should be revealed forthwith. The Congress will hit the streets and continue agitation until the poor depositors get their money back,” Jena said.

Responding to the allegations made by the PCC president, panchayati raj mnister Kalpataru Das said, “The channel which telecast the audio CD has not named any person. If any person is involved in the chit fund scam, he will be brought under the purview of investigation”.

Responding to Debasish Patnaik’s charges, government chief whip Prabhat Tripathy said, “The electronic media which telecast the audio CD has stated that the CD has been sent to a laboratory after which the exact voice of the caller can be ascertained. If the Congress is demanding probe, I’m also urging for a CBI probe”.

In one of the two CDs telecast on OTV on Friday, a person is heard talking to one Sethi Babu (believed to be arrested Artha Tatwa Group chief Pradip Sethi) on issues pertaining to Crime Branch probe against chit fund companies.

The person later asks Sethi Babu “to do something as Banki Mahotsav is approaching”.

In the second audio CD, a male voice resembling that of Sethi Babu (again perhaps Pradip Sethi) speaks to an unidentified person regarding payments from Jagneswar Babu, who is presently a prominent leader of Odisha Jana Morcha.