Will continue crusade against corruption, says Damodar Rout

Bhubaneswar: Former minister and senior BJD leader Damodar Rout, who recently created ripples in political circle by disclosing the Cooperative bank loans scam, today said that he will continue his war against corruption.

“It doesn’t matter which party is involved in corruption. I will raise my voice against anything that goes against the interest of the State,” said Rout to well-wishers who assembled outside his house to congratulate him for the revelations.

Meanwhile, both the BJP and Congress mounted their attack on the ruling-BJD.

“BJD members who are presidents of different co-operative societies are in jail but they haven’t been removed from the post. I challenge the State government to launch an investigation into any of the societies of Ghasipura block then only the truth will come out,” Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) chief Niranjan Patnaik said.

Similarly, BJP legislator Pradeep Purohit also launched a scathing attack and demanded an investigation into the scam.

“Instead of questioning Rout’s claim, the government should launch a thorough investigation. We would urge the Central government to launch CBI probe if the State fails to investigate,” Purohit said.

Responding to the charges, BJD spokesperson Samir Das said, “Had Rout said this during his ministerial tenure, it would have looked good. As minister Surya Narayan Patro has asked Rout to furnish details and proof on the claims he made, an investigation will be launched soon.”

While Rout pegged the Cooperative bank loans scam to be around Rs 700 crore to Rs 800 crore, he alleged that Odisha government had sanctioned Rs 37 crore for computerisation of all cooperative societies. Computers were purchased and sent to all the societies but around 700 societies lack buildings and electricity connections, he claimed.