Logjam continues in Odisha assembly over chit fund fraud

Bhubaneswar: The opposition in Odisha on Monday stalled the assembly demanding sacking of a retired judge who is probing the chit fund scam and resignation of a minister who was allegedly involved in the fraud.

As soon as the house assembled for Question Hour, the Congress and BJP members gathered near the speaker’s podium and shouted slogans demanding resignation of food supplies and consumer welfare minister Sanjay Dasburma for his alleged involvement in the chit fund scam.

They also demanded ouster of Justice M.M. Das, who heads the panel probing the multicrore-rupee chit fund scam, for attending an event of the ruling party Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and stating that people became victims of chit fund firms due to their “greed”.

The uproarious scenes in the house forced the speaker to adjourn the house several times.

“We raised the issues of chit fund probe panel head Justice M.M. Das and Minister Sanjay Dasburma in the house. We have been demanding discussion in the assembly. Both the minister and chit fund panel head should be removed,” said Congress chief whip Taraprasad Bahinipati.

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Pradeep Purohit said: “While we had demanded a ruling from the speaker seeking reply from the chief minister over the chit fund issue, the speaker did not give any ruling.”

“We demand the dismissal of Justice Das and resignation of Sanjay Dasburma,” he added.

BJP members held Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik responsible for the chit fund scam.

Biju Janata Dal (BJD) legislator Amar Satapathy said the opposition parties are raising the issue repeatedly to get political mileage.

“They are raising these issues to get political mileage out of it and have deviated from the main issues. Our focus is how the duped investors will get back their money and the scamsters get punished,” he added.

Meanwhile, the Congress party held demonstrations at district headquarters across the state demanding ouster of the minister and the head of chit fund inquiry commission.

The chit fund scam in Odisha involves 43 bogus companies that swindled people out of hundreds of crores of rupees.