BJD protests CBI raid on houses of party leaders

Bhubaneswar: Protesting simultaneous raids on the house of Balasore MP Rabindra Jena, Cuttack-Choudwar MLA Pravat Biswal and Saroj Sahu, a former personal assistant of chief minister Naveen Patnaik, activists of student and youth wings of BJD staged protest demonstration in front of the CBI office here today.

Reports said the activists of Biju Chhatra Janata Dal (BCJD) and Biju Yuva Janata Dal (BYJD) had a scuffle with the police as they tried to barge in to the CBI office.

Shouting anti-BJP slogan, they burnt the effigy of senior BJP leader and Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan.

Talking to the media, BCJD president Chinmay Sahu said while the BJD MLAs and MPs have cooperated with the CBI in its investigation and appeared before it as and when they have been summoned, why the central probe agency raided the house of these leaders who it had interrogated two years ago? “It is now quite clear that the raids were conducted at the instance of the BJP to malign the BJD as the saffron party is aware of the popularity of the chief minister and the prospects of our party in the forthcoming Panchayat polls,” he observed.

“Since last three years, CBI has resorted to conspiracy investigation. The central investigating agency, which had interrogated them two years ago, has raided their houses today. Now the question is why the CBI had interrogated them two years back and what is reason behind the raids? It is most likely that the raids have been conducted to malign the BJD leaders ahead of the ensuing Panchayat polls. Going by the modus operandi of the CBI is is now quite clear that the central probe agency is being used as a political doll,” BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb told media persons here.

In his reaction, president of the Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) Prasad Harichandan said the Congress has been claiming that the BJD and BJP are the two sides of a coin for which the CBI has become helpless.

“The Trinamool Congress has alleged that the CBI is dancing to the tune of Prime Minister Narendra Modi and arresting the party leaders as per his directive. Due to the tacit understanding between BJD and BJP, CBI was not able to take action against the ruling party leaders who are involved in Seashore chit fund scam,” he maintained.

Talking about the raid on the house of Saroj Sahu, who is a an authorised signatory of BJD supremo and chief minister Naveen Patnaik, the OPCC chief said the CBI is yet to probe into the MoU signed by the BJD government with various companies including the Seashore Group.

“Saroj Sahu is not an independent entity. He has received chit fund money not for him but for the chief minister against whom the CBI is yet to take any action. Besides, the central investigating agency, which had interrogated Sahu, Balasore MP Rabindra Jena and Cuttack-Choudwar MLA Pravat Biswal two and half years ago, is now conducting raid on their houses which is an eyewash. The sincerity and impartiality of CBI would be proved only when its investigation would reach Naveen Niwas.

Justifying his contention, Harichandan said if CBI could arrest TMC MP Sudip Bandyopadhyay since he was promoting the Rose Valley ponzi firm, it should take similar action against the Odisha chief minister and his party leaders who had also promoted a number of chit fund companies.

“Let the CBI clarify as to why it is not able to take action against the chief minister and his party leaders,” he pointed out.

BJP state general secretary Prithviraj Harichandan said several ruling MLAs and MPs had promoted chit fund companies. “I am sure that each one of them would be brought under the purview of CBI investigation and punished in accordance with the law,” he maintained.

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