Sting on 4 BJD MLAs: CM orders Vigilance probe

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today ordered a Vigilance probe into the sting operation aired on a news channel that showed four BJD MLAs asking for hefty bribes from an undercover person posing as an industrialist to help set up industries in their respective constituencies.

“I have ordered a Vigilance inquiry into the entire matter. Let’s await its results,” the Chief Minister said.

Meanwhile, BJP today took out a rally demanding the arrest of the four BJD MLAs, who allegedly demanded amounts ranging from Rs 5 crores to Rs 40 crores for facilitating setting up of industries in their constituencies.

The BJP also staged demonstrations at Chhendipada, the constituency of MLA Sushant Behera who is one of the four BJD MLAs caught in a sting operation asking for bribes. Yesterday, Youth Congress activists had staged demonstrations demanding the arrest and resignation of the four ruling party MLAs.

“The chief minister is either directly or indirectly linked to all the scams in Odisha. He will obviously try to protect these MLAs. The whole matter should be probed by CBI,” said Congress leader Jayadev Jena.

“These revelations prove that the BJD is not a clean and corruption-free party. If we take money from people for our own selfish intentions, then we are definitely writing a stained chapter in history. A probe should be ordered into these irregularities,” said BJP leader Radharani Panda.

The BJD predictably sought to make light of the allegations against the four MLAs of the party. “Earlier also, a similar sting operation was conducted by a television channel which was later proved to be false. The chief minister is aware of the whole episode. He is currently reviewing the matter and will take the right decision at the right time,” said BJD spokesperson Sameer Dash.

Notably, the video footage of the four MLAs, which showed them demanding money for giving No Objection Certificate (NOC) and facilitating land acquisition in their constituencies, was aired on a local television channel on Monday .

The four BJD MLAs in the dock are Hindol MLA Seemarani Nayak, Chhendipada MLA Susant Kumar Behera, Karanjia MLA Bijay Kumar Nayak and Bhawanipatna MLA Anam Nayak.