Congress demands Naveen Patnaik's resignation after CBI grills aide

A day after his close aide was quizzed by CBI, Congress on Sunday asked Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to resign and demanded a probe against him by the central agency in the chitfund scam.

PTI| Last Updated: Nov 23, 2014, 22:28 PM IST

Bhubaneswar: A day after his close aide was quizzed by CBI, Congress on Sunday asked Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to resign and demanded a probe against him by the central agency in the chitfund scam.

"We demand the Chief Minister resign immediately as evidence gathered so far by the CBI in the ponzi scam is sufficient enough to nail him," Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Narasinha Mishra told reporters here.

The CBI should launch an investigation against Patnaik and interrogate him in connection with the chitfund scam as there was prima facie evidence with the central agency about his role in the scam, the Congress leader said.

Referring to the interrogation of Patnaik's close aide Saroj Sahoo by the CBI yesterday, Mishra said Saroj had been given all powers by the Chief Minister.

Claiming that the CBI probe was now moving towards the CM's residence 'Naveen Niwas', Mishra alleged Saroj even functioned as the authorised person of Patnaik to sign letters, statements and press releases.

Recalling how Patnaik had removed ministers and leaders who came under cloud of corruption in the past, he said now the Chief Minister should apply the same principle in his own case and step down to enable the CBI to conduct a fair probe into the chitfund scam.

Hitting out at BJD leaders for terming the CBI probe as politically motivated, Mishra said they should remember that the central agency was investigating the ponzi scheme cases at the direction of the Supreme Court, which was monitoring the inquiry.

Moreover, BJD leaders had welcomed the CBI probe initially and now when Naveen Niwas was scanner, they were terming it as politically motivated, he said.

Lashing out at the BJD government, Mishra said though the Centre in a letter had warned the state about ponzi scheme companies, no action was taken and MoUs were concluded with tainted chitfund firms for business in a number of sectors and the Chief Minister's attendance at the function of a tainted ponzi scheme firm gave credibility to its activities.

The Congress leader also accused the BJD of trying to avoid discussion on the issue in the Assembly and expressed apprehension that the ongoing winter session may be cut short by the government to avoid heat on the chitfund scam.