Cooperative bank loan scam: PCC chief backs Dama, slams Odisha govt

Bhubaneswar: A day after former minister Damodar Rout alleged massive irregularities in Cooperative Bank loans, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) chief Niranjan Patnaik today backed the ex-minister and targeted Odisha government for its silence on the issue.

“Dama Rout is a senior BJD leader and former minister. There might be some truth in whatever he is saying. Why is the State government not ordering an investigation? Government has to answer whether the allegations brought in by him are true or not,” Patnaik said.

He further said that the farm loan waiver money meant for farmers was embezzled in cooperative banks. Alleging irregularities in almost all the cooperative societies, Patnaik dared the government for an investigation in Ghasipura and Keshadurapal blocks in Keonjhar district.

Earlier on Saturday, Rout alleged that there was scam of Rs 800 crore in cooperative banks. He further stated that, “While 60% of the loan from the banks was issued for non-agricultural purposes, the rest 40% remained only on pen and paper.”

Rout had also hinted a Rs 100 crore sapling scam and Rs 30 crore Omfed scam which has put the ruling BJD government in the dock.

Former MP Baijayanta Panda today also tweeted over the allegations of Damodar Rout.