Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 12:
Hours after CBI conducted raids at 25 places in and outside Odisha including houses of Biju Janata Dal Balasore MP Rabindra Jena, Choudwar-Cuttack BJD MLA Prabhat Biswal and Naveen Nivas aide Saroj Sahu in connection with Seashore group chit fund scam, BJD alleged that these raids are an attempt to defame the party before the panchayat polls.
“These allegations are nothing new. CBI noticed and questioned them earlier as well. What is the motive behind conducting these raids after a gap of three years? It smells of political vendetta and are being carried out to defame BJD on the eve of panchayat polls,” said BJD Spokesperson Pratap Deb.
The youth and student units of the party, meanwhile, demonstrated before the CBI office in Bhubaneswar. Some of them even went on to clash with the cops while attempting to gatecrash into the office.
The activists alleged involvement of union Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan behind the raids and burnt his effigy.
Odisha Congress President Prasad Harichandan, on the other hand, demanded further action.
“If someone offered chit fund money to Saroj Sahu, it was intended for the Chief Minister. The neutrality of CBI will only be known, if CBI investigation reaches Naveen Niwas and action is taken,” said Harichandan.
BJP, however, defended the raids.
“Most of the MLAs and MPs encouraged and supported chit fund business here. It has become obvious that they will be framed one after another and will be punished,” said Odisha BJP General Secretary Prithiviraj Harichandan.