Bhubaneswar: Opposition Congress and BJP on Friday welcomed the arrest of senior MLA Pravat Tripathy while the ruling BJD sought to steer clear by suspending the former government chief whip.
"We welcome the CBI action of arresting BJD MLA. We can say that many other ruling party leaders will soon be arrested as they are directly or indirectly linked to the chitfund scam," OPCC president Jaydev Jena said.
Senior Congress member and Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra said the arrest of Tripathy showed that the probe conducted by the Crime Branch of the Odisha Police into the chitfund scam was simply an eye-wash.
Former MP and senior Congress leader Pradip Majhi said it was now clear that the ruling BJD headed by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had been involved in chitfund scam.
"We hold Naveen Patnaik responsible as his party MLA is involved in the scam. Now fingers are pointed towards Patnaik," Majhi said adding Tripathy's arrest has exposed the ruling party.
Senior BJP leader and former minister B B Harichandan said "There should be no doubt about BJD's involvement in the scam. CBI investigation will certainly expose the BJD and its leaders."
However, senior BJD leaders and ministers Debi Prasad Mishra and Damodar Rout said the arrest of Tripathy would not have any adverse impact on the party.
While Mishra described the arrest as unfortunate, Rout said there are no serious charges against Tripathy.
BJD spokesman Samir Ranjan Dash, who is also a senior MLA, said Tripathy's arrest would in no way affect the ruling party.
"Tripathy has been suspended by the party president. He might be involved in his personal capacity and the party has nothing to do with it," Dash said.
Replying to a question, Dash said "The CBI must have got prima-facie evidence against Tripathy. It is his personal problem and nothing to do with the party."