Bhubaneswar, Jan 7:
Odisha Jana Morcha (OJM) has come down heavily on the BJD government in the state for spending lakhs of rupees from the public exchequer on hiring a top lawyer of the country to prevent a CBI inquiry into the massive chit fund scam in the state.
Quoting media reports, OJM president Pyari Mohan Mohapatra said noted lawyer Gopal Subramaniam had been hired by the Odisha government at the rate of Rs 6 lakh per appearance to fight its case in the Supreme Court, which is hearing a petition demanding a CBI inquiry into the scam. “If the government is not involved in the scam, why is it afraid of a CBI inquiry?” he asked.
The fact that the crime branch has not yet questioned a ruling party MLA from whose driver a vehicle worth Rs 1 crore was seized, provides ample proof about the seriousness of the government to investigate the case, the OJM president said.
Describing the corpus fund of Rs 300 crore announced by the government as an attempt to hoodwink the people, Mohapatra said it is peanuts considering the amount lost by depositors, which is upwards of Rs 30, 000 crores.
“If a person has lost Rs 30,000, all that he can expect to get from the fund is Rs 300,” he said.
Terming the repeated claim by the government that the depositors who lost their hard earned money would be compensated with the money earned from confiscation and auction of the assets of the chit fund companies as yet another ploy to take the people for a ride, the OJM leader reminded the government that Punjab, which passed a similar law 12 years ago, is yet to confiscate the property of chit fund companies and return the money to the investors.
“If the government has the guts, let it accept a CBI inquiry. If it does not, the people will give it a befitting reply in the coming elections,” Mohapatra said.