Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 27:
It took Pradeep Sethy, the CMD of the tainted AT group arrested by the CBI in connection with the chit fund scam, just 17 days after his company was registered as a multi-purpose cooperative society to win the ‘Best Youth Cooperator ‘ award, Cooperation minister Damodar Rout informed the State Assembly on Wednesday.
‘The state government had conferred the “Best Youth Cooperator” award on Pradeep Sethy in 2010 only 17 days after the registration of his Artha Tatwa Multi-purpose Cooperative Society with the Registrar of Cooperative Societies on November 3,” Rout said in reply to a question by BJP member Dilip Ray.
Rout, who was the Cooperation minister then too, also admitted that he along with Banki BJD MLA and president of the State Cooperative Union Pravat Kumar Tripathy, former president of Odisha State Cooperative Bank Jagneswar Babu and Governor M C Bhandare were present at the award-giving function.
He, however, said it is not possible to ascertain as to when Sethy had applied for registration of his multi-purpose cooperative society and the contribution he had made to the cooperative movement in the state since all the records of the State Cooperative Union are now with the CBI.
The agency, it may be noted, has claimed it has evidence that Tripathy had put pressure on the officials to expedite registration of the AT Group’s multi-purpose cooperative society.
With the winter session of the State Assembly stalled for the sixth day following the demand by the opposition members to initiate discussion on the chit fund scam, the revelation of Rout has come as a shot in the arm for the opposition, political analysts said.