BJD government in Odisha neck-deep in corruption: Congress

Accusing the BJD government in Odisha of being neck-deep in corruption, senior Congress leader Niranjan Patnaik on Thursday demanded a CBI probe into the mining scam saying an inquiry by the central agency into the chitfund scam has exposed the ruling party leaders.

PTI| Last Updated: Sep 18, 2014, 22:15 PM IST

Bhubaneswar: Accusing the BJD government in Odisha of being neck-deep in corruption, senior Congress leader Niranjan Patnaik on Thursday demanded a CBI probe into the mining scam saying an inquiry by the central agency into the chitfund scam has exposed the ruling party leaders.

"Odisha has witnessed a series of scams like chitfund, mining and land scandals as the BJD government is neck deep in corruption though its leaders claim to be honest and clean," Patnaik told reporters here.

Stepping up the demand for a CBI probe into the mining scam, the former OPCC president said the state government was scared of an investigation by the central agency as it knows such an inquiry would expose several ruling BJD leaders including ministers, MLAs and bureaucrats.

Referring to the chitfund scam, Patnaik said the state government had always opposed a CBI probe into it on the ground that the crime branch of the police was inquiring into the matter and action was being taken against those involved.

However, after the CBI began its probe following a Supreme Court directive, involvement of a number of BJD leaders in the chitfund scam has come to fore, he said, adding, even the state government had entered into a series of MoUs with a tainted ponzi scheme firm for various activities.

"Many ministers, bureaucrats and bigwigs would be booked by the CBI for their role in the chitfund scam relating to Seashore company with which the government had entered in a tie up," Patnaik said, adding, "In fact, the entire BJD government had close links with the tainted company."

Taking cue from the chitfund scam, it would be appropriate to hand over probe into the mining scam to the CBI which was inquiring into mining cases in Goa, Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, he said.

Corruption in mining sector in Odisha was on a massive scale and therefore, the central agency must investigate into it to book the culprits, the Congress leader demanded.

"The state government is, however, opposing a CBI probe into the mining scam on the pretext that the vigilance wing is inquiring into the matter," the former state minister said, adding, "In reality, the ruling BJD is afraid of a CBI investigation as it will expose its leaders and officials."

Regarding the land scam, Patnaik said though allegations of land grabbing and irregularities in allotment of plots and houses were being levelled for the last 3-4 years, the state government tried to suppress the issue showing total inaction.

Many influential people including ministers and MLAs have acquired government land at throw away prices for specific purposes, but several of them were not using the land for earmarked purposes, he said demanding a thorough probe into such irregularities.