Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 11:
More than four months after his arrest by CBI in connections with the Odisha Chit Fund Scam, suspended BJD MLA Pravat Tripathy was back in Odisha assembly today to attend the second phase of the budget session.
He was arrested on October 31, 2014 for his involvement with the AT group, a major player in the chit fund scam, and had been in jail until he received conditional bail from the Odisha High court on March 3.
Though he was suspended from the party right after his arrest, apparently nothing much has changed for him politically. This was obvious from both his body language and his statements after his return to the Assembly today. He was seen walking on the assembly corridors holding hands with Excise and Cooperation Minister Damodar Rout, who belongs to the party that has thrown him out.
“Even though I am a suspended member, as a MLA, I adhere to BJD ideologically. I have been doing politics since my student days and have followed the ideals of Biju Patnaik. Not just BJD, even Congress and BJP members greeted me, sympathised with me and welcomed me back. They have been my long time friends in the house,” said the senior BJD leader speaking to reporters.