Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Sept 12:
The BJD MLA from Dharmasala in Odisha’s Jajpur district Pranab Balabantaray, who was summoned for interrogation by the CBI on Wednesday, has issued a press note on Thursday night, clarifying that he never had any links with either the Artha Tatwa Group or its CMD Pradip Sethy.
Balabantaray’s father and BJD strongman Kalapataru Das had to resign as leader of the BJD Parliamentary Party in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday, a day after the former was interrogated by the CBI in connection with the Odisha chit fund scam.
In the Odia press note, the BJD MLA has said he had bought a plot of land in Jaydev Vihar area in the state capital in 2003 but decided to sell it off later to one Dharmendra Bothra. Bothra made the payment for the said plot in the form of cheques and that this transaction was reflected in his bank and Income Tax documents.
Balabantaray also said he handed over the property to Bothra finally in July 2012.
In the press note the BJD MLA, who has been in the eye of a storm over his illegal land deals and massive accumulation of property in Odisha and outside, said the CBI had merely enquired about the land sale to Bothra and never asked him anything about the operations of the AT Group.
“ I learnt during the CBI interrogation that buyer of my plot ( Bothra ) had business links with Artha Tatwa . I wish to make it clear that I have no idea about Artha Tatwa’s business, nor do I know the owner of that company. I have never ever talked to him. I have nothing to do with that company or its business.”