Opp playing dirty politics, says Dasburma

Puri/Bhubaneswar: Senior BJD leader and Food Supply and Consumer Welfare minister Sanjay Dasburma, who is in the eye of a storm for his alleged links with a chit fund company, on Thursday said the Opposition parties are playing dirty politics to malign him.

“The Opposition parties are conspiring against me on the issue of my links with the Artha Tatwa (AT) Group. After allegations that I own a Pajero SUV gifted by the AT Group managing director Pradip Sethi, I have submitted all relevant documents to the CBI for investigation,” Dasburma said while inaugurating a new Aahar centre near the bus stand in Puri.

The minister also asked the Opposition to submit documents in their possession to the CBI to justify their their allegations against him.

Reminding that the Crime Branch police has given him a clean chit in the nurse Madhabilata death case, he advised the Opposition parties to wait till the CBI completes its investigation into the Pajero case.

“I will retire from politics if the CBI finds the slightest evidence against me,” he claimed.

Reacting to the statement of Dasburma, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Prasad Harichandan said the BJD minister knows very well whether the Opposition parties are conspiring against him or he himself is a party to the conspiracy.

“Some top state BJP leaders are of the opinion that the CBI is not probing the mega chit fund scam cases properly and is trying to shield the BJD leaders who are involved in the scam. Even the people of Odisha have realised it of late. The Naveen Patnaik-led government in the state has managed to stay in power by the grace of the BJP government at the Centre, which has influenced the CBI investigation,” he added.

Commenting on the allegation of Dasburma that the Opposition parties are conspiring against him, senior BJP leader Samir Mohanty said let Dasburma first clarify whether he has been a victim of conspiracy by his own party colleagues, including Damodar Rout, Bhartruhari Mahatab and a party spokesperson who have talked about political ideology and morality in connection with his links with the chit fund company.

Talking about the allegations of BJP against Dasburma, Mohanty said; “Let the minister clarify whether his company Team Media and Hospitality Pvt Ltd has acquired the ownership of ‘Sarbasadharana’, an Odia vernacular daily, from SLB Media and Entertainment, a company which was involved in money circulation business and whose owner Bairiganjan Das was arrested by the police.”

Referring to the allegation of the PCC chief that the CBI is not probing chit fund case properly, Mohanty said before pointing fingers at BJP, the former should recall the 10-year-old rule of the then UPA government at the Centre and the observation of the Supreme Court that the CBI is like a ‘caged parrot’.

“Be it the Prime Minister or the BJP, the NDA government will never treat the CBI as its handmaiden like the previous Congress-led UPA government,” Mohanty told OTV over phone.

On the CBI probe into the chit fund scam, he said going by the news published in all leading national dailies that the CBI had conducted raids at 40 places in India yesterday, it is improper to give such cheap comment on the Central investigating agency.

On the other hand, BJD spokesperson Samir Dash said the BJD has nothing to do with the affairs and programmes of opposition political parties. But he said the opposition parties have deliberately launched a vilification campaign against Dasburma with a political motive.

Stating that there is no truth in any of the allegations leveled by the opposition parties against Dasburma so far, he said the CBI is investigating the case and the people of Odisha would come to know about the truth after the investigation is completed.

Meanwhile, in another embarrassment for the BJD, senior leader and Sambalpur MP Nagendra Pradhan on Thursday launched a veiled attack on Dasburma.

Citing the instance of Lord Ram, who had banished his wife Sita despite knowing that she was pure, he said though Dasburma claims his innocence, the chief minister would take a final call.

“The chief minister is examining Dasburma’s case thoroughly and will take an appropriate decision at the right time,” Pradhan said.