Bhubaneswar: The controversy over alleged
horse-trading during last year`s Rajya Sabha polls further
thickened on Tuesday with release of another audio tape by a
television channel and the Congress suspending one of its MLAs
on charge of defying party whip.
According to contents of the second audio tape,
Congress and BJP supported Independent candidate Tara Ranjan
Patnaik allegedly made a deal with some BJP MLAs to secure
While BJP`s senior MLA and former minister Jaynarayan
Mishra, one of accused, refuted the allegation, Patnaik was
not immediately available for comment.
"I am in no way involved in any deal," Mishra told
mediamen dubbing the entire episode as "false" and "baseless".
Daring a CBI probe into the incident, Mishra claimed
that the new audio tape was prepared to counter the first
tape, released about a week ago, where two BJD ministers were
accused of making a deal with Congress MLA Shibaji Majhi.
Refuting allegations against his party MLAs, BJP state
president Jual Oram challenged Chief minister Naveen Patnaik
to order a CBI probe into the matter.
Another BJP MLA Hitesh Bagarti, who as per the second
tape, made deal with independent candidate, said: "It is a
conspiracy against me. If proved, I will quit politics".
Meanwhile, a year after Rajya Sabha polls, Congress
today suspended Lanjigarh MLA Shibaji Majhi from the party.
The action came within a week of release of an audio
tape by a news channel which claimed that two BJD ministers
had negotiated with Majhi to abstain from voting in RS polls.
Majhi was among the three MLAs, two others being
Congress`s Gregory Minz and Bhimsen Choudhury of BJP, who did
not vote in RS polls. With their abstention, ruling BJD`s
third candidate easily won the polls.