“Don’t act like a coward,” Congress taunts BJD

Bhubaneswar: Peeved over the ruling BJD’s ‘unconcerned’ attitude towards the plight of small time investors, who have lost crores of rupees in the chit fund scam, the Congress party on Saturday asked BJD to face the Opposition’s constructive criticism in the Assembly.

“We had sought a reply from the chief minister on why the State government is keen on protecting Justice MM Das, head of the chit fund Inquiry Commission. Have we done anything wrong? Then what is the role of the Opposition in a democratic country? The State government should not act like a coward, and it must face the Opposition with courage,” stated Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra.

The septuagenarian leader further maintained that a true democracy cannot be dreamt of without Opposition.

The Congress party, which had pressed for an adjournment motion on the matter leading to adjournment of the House twice earlier in the day, reconciled later but with a rider.

“In the larger interests of the State, we have decided to join the House proceedings. But our protest against the statement of Justice Das will continue,” Mishra noted adding that the State government had made its intention clear through the Commission.

The BJD, which has chosen to play safe with the issue, especially after Food Supplies and Consume Welfare minister Sanjay Dasburma landed in trouble in the Pajero vehicle matter, maintained that the government is committed to protect the investors’ money.

“It is the responsibility of the government to return investors their hard-earned money. They should not be disheartened. All the small time investors will get back their invested amount in a phased manner,” government chief whip Anant Das said.

On the Statement of justice Das, he said, “That was his personal opinion and the ruling party has nothing to do with it. He has been authorised only to identify the investors.”