Oram drops bombshell; says Centre has let BJD off the hook on scams

Bhubaneswar: Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram on Friday dropped a bombshell saying the Odisha government should thank the Union for letting itself off the hook in the CBI probe in the chit-fund and mines scams in the State.

Speaking to OTV, Oram 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.”

The Union minister added, “The probe into the scams has slowed down.”

Replying to a query, Oram said, “They have not been let off.But the pace of the investigation has certainly slowed down. Everyone knows this.”

On the reasons behind the slowdown in the CBI investigation, Oram said, “This is a technical question and cannot be answered on TV.”

This explosive statement of Oram lends credence to what has so far been in the realm of speculation: a deal between the BJD and the BJP. Congress vice-president Rahul Gandhi, it may be noted, had raked up the issue of the go-slow in the chit fund scam probe and hinted at such a deal during the farmers’ rallies in Bargarh last September.

Refuting the charges, BJD spokesperson Pratap Deb said, “The Union minister’s statement is completely childish and baseless. As per him, everything has been stolen and they will help locate them. He should stop this hide and seek game.”