Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday rubbished the Odisha BJP’s claim that he was quizzed by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in connection with the multi-crore chit fund scam in the state.
This is “absolute nonsense”, Naveen told mediapersons when asked to comment on senior BJP leader KV Singh Deo’s statement that the central investigating agency had grilled him.
Referring to West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee’s statement that she would consult her Odisha counterpart before ending her sit-in protest in Kolkata, KV had hinted at a possible collusion between her and Naveen with regard to the scam. He also demanded answers from the state government about steps being taken to return money to the investors.
When asked about the allegation, Naveen said, “No one from TMC has been in contact with us for the last one year. Our party’s statement yesterday had to do with the events in our state. We would like CBI to do a professional and non-political job.”
BJD leader Bhartruhari Mahtab had on Monday told the Lok Sabha that the role and responsibility of the CBI are being derided because of certain motivated action of certain persons. This, he had said, should be stopped at all quarters.
Referring to the Kolkata incident, he said Odisha had also seen CBI officers barging into the residence of a sitting judge in the early hours some months back. Just before the panchayat elections, attempts were made to defame the BJD.
“We want CBI to be a professional institution and it should target those persons who indulge in corruption. But the manner in which the agency is functioning today, it seems that it is being used as a political weapon by the government that is in power at the Centre,” Mahtab pointed out.
As CBI-Kolkata Police standoff had its ripples felt in Odisha as well, KV also raked up the name of Saroj Sahu, a personal aide of the Odisha CM, apparently to corner the state government on the chit fund scam.
In November 2014, CBI had interrogated Sahu, in connection with the chit fund scam. While leaving the CBI office after being grilled, Sahu had told reporters that he had answered all questions put to him and that he had no role in the scam.