Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sept 11:
How close was the former director of AT Group and owner of Swastik India Multipurpose Credit Cooperative Society Ranjan Dash to the Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik?
This question is doing the rounds in political circles following a report in the leading Odia daily Sambad today that it was Das, who had filed the nomination papers on behalf of Naveen Patnaik for his formal re-election as the president of Biju Janata Dal in January 2013.
The Sambad report said Das had gone to Naveen Niwas on January 25 with former Panchayati Raj minister and present Rajya Sabha member Kalpataru Das with the nomination paper.
After the chief minister signed the nomination papers, the duo came to the BJD party office and submitted the paper to the party’s returning officer Pravat Tripathy.
A photograph (see pic) taken at the BJD party office during the filing of Naveen Patnaik’s nomination papers shows Das standing along with the then Panchayati Raj minister Kalpataru Das and Government Chief Whip Pravat Tripathy.
In the nomination papers, both Kalpataru and Ranjan had signed as proposers.
Besides his close relations with the Banki BJD MLA Pravat Tripathy, Das was an active member of the BJD. The faith reposed on him by the BJD supremo to file the nomination papers on his behalf raises a number of questions, the Sambad report said