Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Oct 2:
While most of the ministers and BJD MLAs have been denied their Puja vacation and asked to work hard to ensure the victory of the party candidate in the bypoll for the Kandhamal Lok Sabha seat, Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik will be spending his Puja holidays in New Delhi.
Sources said Patnaik will be on a six-day visit to the national capital beginning today. He will return to the state capital on October 7, sources said.
Patnaik’s itinerary this time has been kept a closely guarded secret by his office.
Sources, however, said the Chief Minister will be a guest at a function of the Capital Foundation Society of New Delhi and meeting several central ministers to place certain demands of the state before them. He is also likely to meet Prime Minister Narendra Modi on October 6, a day before he returns to the state capital.
But by all accounts, this is not going to be a pleasure trip for the BJD supremo.
The political circles here are agog with speculations that the most compelling reason for the chief minister to visit Delhi for six days at a time when his party is faced with a tough bypoll challenge, is to strike a truce with the BJP and Prime Minister Modi and make sure the CBI team, inquiring into the chit fund scam, does not reach his doorstep.
The fact that the CBI inquiry into the coal scam has been kept open under court directions is also a reason for his worries, sources said.
A senior BJD functionary told OST under conditions of anonymity that the chief minister is deeply perturbed over reports that senior bureaucrats, police officers and party leaders close to him are likely to be implicated in the Seashore financial fraud.