Pandemonium in Odisha Assembly over chit fund money

Bhubaneswar, May 4 (IANS) The Odisha Assembly on Wednesday witnessed chaotic scenes, with the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and opposition parties trading barbs over the chit fund scam that has rocked the state.

Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislators created a ruckus in the House, seeking clarifications from Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik over the transfer of money to BJD’s bank account, allegedly by a chit fund accused.

However, ruling party members rejected the charge and demanded an apology from the Leader of Opposition Narasingh Mishra for “misleading the House” on the issue.

The pandemonium forced the Assembly Speaker to adjourn the House several times.

Amid the din, Law Minister Arun Sahu rejected the allegations levelled by the Congress. He said opposition leader Mishra’s charge that chit fund money was credited to the BJD bank account was not based on truth.

“The allegation levelled by leader of opposition that the BJD received money from chit fund scam accused Purnachandra Padhi is false. The fund in question was transferred by one BJD worker with a similar name,” the minister said.

He said the BJD has received funds from the general electoral trust between the years 2000 and 2014. While the Congress received Rs.100 crore, BJP got Rs.70 crore and BJD received Rs.13 crore. BJD has already informed the Election Commission about its income and expenditure and has filed income tax returns, the minister added.

“The leader of opposition is diminishing the dignity of the House by making false statements. He should refrain from taking political mileage over the issue. He should tender an unconditional apology in the House,” Sahu said.

However, the Congress and the BJP members were not satisfied with the law minister’s statement and raised slogans against the chief minister, and moved to the Well of the Assembly.

Congress chief whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati stood on the reporters’ table and broke the Speaker’s microphone.

Leader of Opposition Mishra told mediapersons that he was ready to furnish all relevant documents to substantiate his allegation. He said if the chief minister appoints the Lokayukta, then he would submit the documents before him.

Mishra also asked why the chief minister is afraid of making a statement in the House over the issue.

On Tuesday, Mishra had asked the chief minister to clarify whether the bank account in the State Bank of India’s main branch in Bhubaneswar belonged to the BJD and what kind of involvement he had with this account.

He had alleged that Rs.8 crore was deposited in this account on a single day.



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