Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, Aug 19:
In a move that has amused political observers, the ruling BJD has attributed the vicious attack on the Naveen Patnaik government on the twin issues of the chit fund scam and the land allotment scam by senior BJP leader Bijay Mohapatra earlier in the day to jostling within the party’s Odisha unit for the president’s post.
“The allegations hurled at the chief minister and the government is not based on facts. It is the outcome of internal wrangling within the BJP in the state. Since an organisational revamp of the party’s state unit is on the cards, some leaders are angling for the president’s post by attacking the ruling party in an effort to impress their party bosses,” said BJD leaders Pratap Keshari Dev and Samir Das in a joint press conference here without naming Mohapatra.
Earlier today, senior BJP leader Bijay Mohapatra had lashed out at the Naveen Patnaik for remaining silent on the CAG report which had unearthed several cases of ruling party leaders having fraudulently grabbed houses and lands in the Twin City. Instead of taking any action against them, the government had done everything possible to protect them, the BJP leader had alleged. It had also withheld information sought by the AG, he had said.
The two BJD leaders, however, flatly denied the last charge saying; “There is no instance when the government did not comply with the CAG’s request for any information. The allegations are not based on truth. The government has always cooperated fully with the audit agency and has given it all the facts and information sought by it,” said Dev.
Responding to the assertion by Mohapatra that the ongoing CBI probe had conclusively proved that the crime branch was all along shielding the ruling party leaders in the chit fund scam, the BJD leader said, “The CBI is inquiring into the matter and we would not like to comment on it. However, the investigating agency is yet to file charge-sheets. The truth will come out soon after the filing of charge-sheets,” said the former minister.
Defending the regularisation of land in favour of KIIT, he said the process of encroached land started during the All India Science Congress held in 2012 and completed in 2014.