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Prasad demands arrest of CM in chit fund scam




 A slugfest ensued among rival political parties here with Congress, BJP and BJD demanding action on leaders of rivals allegedly involved in chit fund scams with Congress chief Prasad Harichandan demanding the arrest of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for his alleged involvement with a tainted chit fund firm even as the CBI was allowed a ten-day’s remand of TMC MP Sudip Bandopadhyay in connection with Rose Valley chit fund scam.

The CBI had sought ten days remand of Bandopadhyay for face to face quizzing with another TMC MP Tapas Pal. But the Special CBI Court allowed only six days.

PCC Chief Prasad Harichandan spitted fire against Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik demanding his arrest.

“If the CBI could arrest Bandopadhyay on the basis of Tapas Pal’s statement, why can’t it arrest Patnaik whose name was taken by chit fund scamster and Seashore CMD Prasant Dash,” Harichandan told reporters. He went a little further to allege that this smacked of a tacit understanding between Patnaik and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

“The Chief Minister has not lost any opportunity to come closer to the Prime Minister to save himself from CBI claws,” he said.   The BJD refuted the allegation of Congress saying that allegations should not be hurled on the basis of hypothesis.

“No one has the right to hurl allegations without concrete evidence about the complicity of any BJD leader in Chit fund scam,” Party Spokesman Rabinarayan Nanda said adding, “Our party can take recourse to legal means to stop insinuations  against party leaders.”

With the CBI bringing arrested TMC MP Sudip Bandopadhyay to Bhubaneswar, a group of party activists today staged a demonstration outside the agency's state headquarters here to protest against the action. BJP leader Pradeep Purohit slammed the Congress for its allegation on nexus between BJD and his party.

“We are sure that some BJD ministers are linked to the Rose Valley chit fund scam as they share a very close relationship with TMC leaders. Recently, two ministers had gone to West Bengal to celebrate Odisha Diwas. There is a need for an investigation into the matter and the CBI has started probe in this direction” said BJP leader Pradeep Purohit.

A day after his arrest in Kolkata on charge of having link with Rose Valley Group that duped investors in the chitfund scam, TMC MP Sudip Bandopadhyay was today remanded to the CBI custody for six days even as his party activists staged demonstration before the investigating agency's Odisha headquarters here.

Amidst tight security, Bandopadhyay was produced at the CBI designated Special Chief Judicial Magistrate's Court, Bhubaneswar after his medical examination at the Capital Hospital. The TMC MP's lawyer Rajiv Majumdar and others were also present in the court when judge P K Mishra remanded Bandopadhyay to six-day remand of CBI against the agency's appeal for a 12-day remand. The CBI lawyer argued in the court that the agency should be given maximum time to interrogate the TMC MP as he (Bandopadhyay) has not been actively cooperating with the investigation. Judge Mishra, however, allowed the CBI to take Bandopadhyay for six days. The TMC MP's petition for bail was also rejected by the court even as his lawyer pleaded that his client was unwell.

"I am innocent. I have no involvement in the scam. I have placed my point of view before the court and will again appeal the court to consider my point of argument," Bandopadhyay told reporters after appearing the court proceeding.

Bandopadhyay, also the leader of the TMC in the Lok Sabha, is the second party MP after Tapas Pal to be arrested by the CBI in a span of only five days. Both were arrested on charge of having links with the Rose Valley Group that allegedly duped the investors of Rs 17,000 crore in different states including Odisha and West Bengal.

As Bandopadhyay and Pal, who has been in the CBI custody on the second phase remand, were inside the CBI officer here, the TMC activists, many coming from West Bengal, staged a demonstration before the investigating agency's office here. TMC's Odisha unit and its state president Arya Kumar Gyanendra also joined the demonstration outside the CBI office here.






Editorial

Précis 2017
From asking his party men to ‘live a simple life and serve the people’ to taunting the BJP for its ‘crocodile tears’, Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik has not only become politically invincible, he seems to be so in the coming years too.

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