OST Political Bureau
Bhubaneswar. Nov 29:
Pouncing on a report published in a major Odia daily this morning, Odisha Jana Morcha (OJM) has demanded a CBI inquiry into the alleged payment of Rs 17 lakh made into the bank account of Koraput MLA Raghuram Podal and his daughter from an unknown source in the immediate aftermath of the failed coup bid against Naveen Patnaik on May 29 last year.
Describing the suggestion in the report published in leading Odia daily that the money was paid to the MLA by Pyari Mohan Mohapatra to win the legislator’s support in his battle against the BJD supremo as ‘preposterous and laughable’, the OJM has pointed to the fact that the amount was paid in three installments on June 1, 13 & 14 – after Mohapatra was suspended from the party.
“Why would Mohapatra pay the MLA after being suspended from the party rather than before May 29 when he is supposed to have organised the coup?” OJM vice president Chandra Mishra asked. He also drew attention to the fact that Podal was not in Bhubaneswar on the day of the alleged coup and thus could not have met Mohapatra.
“If anything, the report proves what had been suspected all along – that Naveen Patnaik paid money to several legislators to accuse Mohapatra of plotting a coup against him, Mishra said. Patnaik also used the lure of ministerial berth and the threat of denial of tickets to get at least 12 MLAs to speak against Mohapatra in the media, he said.
The OJM vice president has challenged the Chief Minister to order a CBI inquiry into the whole murky affair if he has the guts to unearth the truth.