Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Berhampur, Jun 9:
The mystery over the alleged cash transfer from the account of top Odisha Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda’s namesake has deepened as the latter has been temperamental in his replies in the past 24 hours.
As the former MP Braja Kishore Tripathy stoked a major controversy on Tuesday with his allegations of money being transferred from ruling Biju Janata Dal’s account to the Sabyasachi Panda’s bank account, a Silk City-based businessman—who reportedly turned out to be the real account holder– has been consistently inconsistent with his statements to the media.
After the controversy broke, Panda had refuted the allegations at the outset and brushed aside Tripathy’s claims. Moreover, he accused of mental trauma post the development and threatened the former parliamentarian to file a defamation case against him unless he begs apology before the media.
Notably, Tripathy had claimed that Rs 45 lakh was transferred from BJD’s account number 10091755246 in the State Bank of India’s Bhubaneswar Main branch to Panda’s ICICI Bank account number 203601501728 in Chhatrapur town of Ganjam district.
Yesterday, Panda had stressed that he has no political links and no such money exchange had taken place, though he holds an account with the private bank with the same number as claimed by Tripathy.
The businessman, however, today made a volte-face and admitted that he had donated Rs 1 lakh to BJD’s account as a ‘well wisher’ of Naveen Patnaik.
“I had transferred the money through bank and it is completely a fair transaction. I had sent the money as a well wisher of BJD. My family belongs to Hinjili which is Naveen Patnaik’s constituency. I have sent the amount as a well wisher that does not mean that I have links with BJD,” Sabyasachi Panda claimed.
Meanwhile, opposition Bharatiya Janata Party sought a clarification from the Chief Minister.
“On this date also, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik talks of transparency in his speeches. It is upto him to clarify who is this Sabyasachi Panda and why money was being transferred to his account,” BJP Spokesperson Sajjan Sharma said.
The ruling party, however, rejected the claims.
“The person (Maoist leader Sabyasachi Panda) is denying that he hasn’t received any money. The matter of the other person coming to the picture needs to be investigated. As far as money transfer is concerned, BJD’s cashier can throw light on this,” BJD Spokesperson Sashi Bhusan Behera said.
On the other hand, the Samata Kranti Dal leader today maintained his stance saying that truth will come after probe.
“I have sought an inquiry into this. I have urged Prime Minister for an inquiry to ascertain the truth. It’s of little importance what people say on this. After the inquiry, we would know the truth,” Braja Kishore Tripathy said.