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Baijyant aide terms Ajit Jogi’s allegations against MP as ‘ridiculous’




 The political assistant of BJD MP Baijayant Panda today described the allegation made by former Chhattisgarh Chief Minister Ajit Jogi against the MP as ‘ridiculous.’

Hitting out strongly against the statement alleging a link between Panda and former Union Finance Minister P Chidambaram, the MP’s political secretary Jyoti Prakash Ghose said today that there is no truth in the allegation made by Jogi at New Delhi yesterday.

Ghose said this appears to be a conspiracy against the MP by some vested interest in the ‘third floor’ office of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

“These allegations by Shri Jogi are ridiculous. Shri P Chidambaram had appeared in court as legal counsel for companies connected to Mr Panda's family. Neither Mr Panda nor any family members have any dealings with Sri Karti Chidambaram,” a statement from Panda’s office said late in the evening.

 Just how ludicrous this is can be seen from the allegation that Nalini Chidambaram owns shares in one of these companies, the statement said adding, “It happens to be a public company in which anyone can buy shares and upon checking we have found out that only 10 shares are owned in this name.”

The statement said, “It is sad to see Shri Jogi, who was once a relevant politician, reduced to such a pitiable condition of acting as a hired gun on behalf of vested interests, making silly allegations. There are strong rumours that this has been orchestrated by an Odisha cadre bureaucrat who has been dabbling in politics and misleading the Chief Minister about many matters. The MP has been speaking out about this for some months, urging strict action against this bureaucrat being involved in politics and massive corruption,” the Statement said.

Ghose said Karti was no way linked with Panda or any family member. “The allegations are laughable,” the Political Assistant of Panda said.

Agriculture Minister Dr Damodar Rout also slammed Jogi saying that he was the Chief Minister in Chhattisgarh during the period mentioned by him.

“Why did he remain silent all these years,” Rout asked.

Congress leader Taraprasad Bahinipati said the allegation at this time by Jogi is to hog limelight only and has no substance.

BJP leader Bhrigu Buxipatra demanded a reply from the ruling BJD as a serious allegation has been leveled against a senior Member of Parliament.

Meanwhile, BJD spokesperson Sameer Das said, “This is a serious allegation against a sitting BJD MP. Party supremo may consider a deep probe into the allegation.

Notably, Jogi had levelled the allegations at a press conference demanding a probe into the matter that two companies owned by the family of Panda had received undue favours from Chidambaram.

Jogi had alleged that Ortel Communication Private Limited, a company owned by Panda’s family received approval of Foreign Investment Promotion Board (FIPB) during the tenure of P Chidambaram as Union Finance Minister through Chidambaram’s son Karti.

He had claimed that though Chidambaram’s wife Nalini is a stake holder of Baijayant-owned Indian Metal Ferro Alloys (IMFA) Ltd, the matter was ignored in the affidavit of the former minister submitted to Election Commission of India.

Jogi also alleged that several nationalised banks had waived loans sanctioned to IMFA between 1998 and 2003 during the Vajpayee government and Chidambaram fought the cases in favour of IMFA in the loan waiver cases.

He had also asked why the scope of the investigations against Karti Chidambaram was limited and if the Union Government was trying to protect some big fishes and BJP’s friends.

Jogi also said, it was natural to infer that Panda, owner of more than 100 investment companies in India and abroad had close ties with the BJP.

He had also said similar allegations have been raised by BJP MP Subramanian Swamy who on March 15 this year had written to the Prime Minister referring to the 200-page report prepared by the Income Tax authorities and demanded probe into the FIPB clearances given during the UPA government by former Finance Minister P. Chidambaram.

“When a NDA Member of Parliament such as Subramanian Swamy writes to the Prime Minister citing the Income Tax report, the government should make this 200-page report public and name the companies from whom Karti Chidambaram took money for FIPB approvals. It should also reveal whether Baijayant Panda’s name in this list or not,” he said.






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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