Oram U-turn; says CBI go-slow on scams ‘public opinion’

Bhubaneswar: With the opposition Congress pouncing on Jual Oram’s statement that CBI was going slow in the chit fund and mining scams, the Union Tribal Affairs minister today made a U-turn saying it was not his opinion but the perception among public.

“I only pointed out the public perception about CBI probe into chit fund scam. BJP and BJD are two independent parties and there is no secret alliance between both the parties. Sometimes BJD supports the BJP-led NDA government and opposes it at other times according to its own whims and fancies. BJP has not intervened intany of the investigations into various irregularities in the State,” said the senior BJP leader.

“I only revealed what the public thinks and it was not my opinion,” added Oram.

Predictably, Congress was quick to latch on to the controversial remarks of Oram and accused BJD and BJP of having a secret alliance for their individual gains.

“Long back, I had highlighted that Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik have struck a grand alliance to help each other out. Modi has given assurance that it will protect the State government from the ongoing CBI probes into various scams, while Naveen will reciprocate by pledging BJD’s support to BJP in the Rajya Sabha; where the saffron party has a relatively weaker presence. Both the parties however denied such an arrangement then. Now, Jual Oram’s comments have proved that such an arrangement does exist between both the parties,” said Opposition leader Narasingh Mishra.

Meanwhile, BJD, whose feathers have seemingly been ruffled, said that it doesn’t believe that such an allegation could have possibly been made by a BJP leader. “I will discuss with Jual and I do not believe that an experienced leader like him could have made such a statement,” said BJD MP Bhatruhari Mahatab.

The whole controversy stemmed from Jual Oram’s comment yesterday that the Odisha government should thank the Union for letting it off the hook in the CBI probe in the chit-fund and mines scams in the State.

Speaking to OTV, Oram had stated, “The Centre let them (the BJD govt) off the hook in those scams. Otherwise the State government would have been finished by the CBI.”