Odisha Sun Times Bureau
New Delhi/ Bhubaneswar, Jan 3:
In the aftermath of Jual Oram’s explosive remark on Center letting Odisha Government off CBI scanner, senior Congress leader Jayaram Ramesh and Odisha PCC President Prasad Harichandan today demanded a Supreme Court monitored CBI inquiry into the Odisha chit fund scam.
Both the leaders targeted Prime Minister Narendra Modi over misuse of CBI in a press conference held in New Delhi today. Jayaram went a step ahead and accused Modi of “blackmailing” Naveen Patnaik for support in Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha.
“We demand Supreme Court monitored CBI inquiry into the chit fund and mining scam. In the chit fund scam, Jual Oram has already said that CBI is not doing its work properly as they want to save Naveen Patnaik. Only a Supreme Court monitored CBI inquiry will bring out the complete truth – the nexus between politicians, bureaucrats, police officials and unscrupulous folks,” said former Union Minister Ramesh.
“The truth is Naveen Patnaik is being blackmailed by Narendra Modi to support the BJP government in Lok Sabha and in the Rajya Sabha. This is complete misuse and abuse of CBI. There is a deal – a quid pro quo that you support and I will save you. It is a complete subversion and erosion of the CBI independence. The government should pass the Lokpal bill and ensure complete independence of CBI,” he added.
Speaking about the mining scam, he said, “Justice MB Shah had recommended a CBI inquiry. That CBI inquiry has not been ordered. Like the Vyapam scam in Madhya Pradesh, we want the Supreme Court to take over and monitor into the mining scam in Odisha as well. The Chief Minister has lost all his moral authority and surviving on his immoral authority”.
“Congress not only accused but also presented evidence that CBI has slowed down chit fund investigations because of a secret deal between the BJP and the BJD. The Prime Minister and the Chief Minister met and sealed the deal to support each other. It has now been proved. The Prime Minister intervened to divert the CBI investigations and has helped cover up mega scams like the chit fund and the mining scam. Even though MB Shah Commission had recommended a CBI inquiry in the mining scam, the NDA Government has not ordered it in the past 18 months,” said PCC Chief Harichandan.
Odisha unit of BJP, however, tried to defend the indefensible and even went on to accuse Congress of saving the BJD Government back in 2009.
“CBI is an autonomous body. The investigations are being carried out as per the Supreme Court guidelines. There is no scope for anyone to intervene. Besides, Jual Oram has already clarified his stance and the circumstances under which he made the statement. He has already clarified it as well. I don’t find it necessary to make a comment on it,” said BJP leader Prithiviraj Harichandan reacting to the development.
“I would like to remind that back in 2009, after BJP withdrew support from the BJD coalition, the Congress stood by BJD as per Sonia’s directions ensuring that the government is not dissolved. What are they going to say about it? At a time when BJP is fighting to get justice for the chit fund scam victims, this kind of allegations by congress are irrational,” he added.
Ruling BJD also curtly denied the allegations of any kind of understanding.
“Earlier BJP used to make allegations of understanding with Congress. Now Congress is alleging understanding with BJP. At a time, when they have been rejected by the people time and again, it is their insecurity doing the talking. The fact remains that we have been working with both UPA and NDA governments within the framework of constitution and there is nothing more about it,” said BJD Spokesperson Amar Prasad Satapathy.