RTI activist alleges dubious funding by Odisha CM during 2014 elections

Bhubaneswar: RTI activist Subhas Mohapatra has alleged discrepancies in the data on 2014 election expenditure submitted by Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik before the Election Commission.

The news came to fore after an English News channel ‘Times Now’ aired a report titled ‘#NaveenHawalaGhotala.”

According to sources, Subhas, questioning the irregularities in election funding data, has moved the High Court which in pursuant had sought information from the Election Commission on July 18.

As per allegations, Naveen Patnaik was given Rs 13.10 lakh by his party BJD through a cheque (numbered-538976288) from an SBI account. In the petition it has been alleged that even though Naveen had shown the same in his affidavit, MP Ramchandra Hansdah was given Rs 10 lakh through the same-numbered cheque.

Questioning how Patnaik and Hansdah were given the money in different dates on cheques bearing the same number, the petitioner has asked the court for investigation into the matter.

“The party and its chief Naveen Patnaik are telling different things. We have both the documents wherein they have siphoned money through fraudulent means and have suppressed the information and submitted a false affidavit before the election commission. A petition in this regard was filed before the High Court which after hearing the case has directed the Election Commission to take necessary action,” said Subhas.

“The money was transferred with the same RTGS number to Naveen and Hansdah. The Election Commission has been directed to complete the inquiry into the matter,” said petitioner’s advocate, Siddharth Prasad Dash.

On the other hand, BJD spokesperson Dibya Shankar Mishra refuted the allegations saying that there could have been a mistake in mentioning the cheque numbers.