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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jun 10:

After three days of former Union Minister Braja Kishore Tripathy’s sensational claims of Rs 45 lakh being transferred from ruling Biju Janata Dal’s account last year to top Odisha Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda, the party today clarified on the same saying it was transferred to party leaders for election expenditure.

Biju Janata Dal BJD Naveen Patnaik Odisha

In a press conference jointly addressed by Health Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak, Industries, School and Mass Education Minister Debi Prasad Mishra and party spokesperson Sameer Dash, the leaders claimed that the money was transferred to eight leader’s account for election expenditure.

“Yes, money was transferred to eight BJD leader’s accounts through a cheque and not to Sabyasachi Panda’s account. The funds were transferred before the election for poll expenditure purpose,” Health Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak said.

On April 10 last year, Rs 45 lakh was transferred through a cheque (No 441630) in Real-time gross settlement systems (RTGS) mode from BJD’s account number 10091755246 in the State Bank of India’s Bhubaneswar Rajpath branch, they said.

They further said that Rs 7.5 lakh each was paid to Dilip Tirkey and Balabhadra Majhi. Similarly, Rs 5 lakh each was given to Shakuntala Laguri, Nagendra Pradhan, Motiram Nayak, Saiba Sushil Kumar Hansda, Prafulla Pangi and Rajiv Patra.

Earlier in the day, party spokesperson Pratap Jena had claimed that no such transaction occurred and the allegations were baseless and false.

“As far as we know, no money was transferred from BJD’s account to any Sabyasachi Panda. Our account is transparent. In past also Rs 8 lakh transfer allegation was levelled which turned out to be false. The fresh allegation has also almost been proved that it is false. This is an attempt to mislead people,” Jena had said.

On the other hand, Braja Kishore Tripathy said that the BJD is misleading people .

“It is an attempt to mislead people. It is impossible to disburse money to eight persons through one cheque. The amount has been debited from Chhatrapur branch of ICICI Bank. Investigation would bring the truth to the fore,” Tripathy said.