BHUBANESWAR: The arrest of several BJD leaders, including a sitting MP and MLA, by the CBI in the chit fund scam in Odisha has dented Naveen Patnaik's claim of running a clean and transparent government.
When the chit fund case came up for hearing before the Supreme Court, Naveen's government opposed a CBI inquiry and said that an inquiry by its own agency, the state crime branch, had found no involvement of any MLA or minister. In just a few weeks the CBI probe has exposed how the government was scared of the nexus of chit fund operators and politicians coming to light.
The politicians arrested so far, Mayurbhanj MP Ramachandra Hansda, Banki MLA Pravat Tripathy, former MLA Subarna Naik (all BJD), are linked to chit fund companies the government had particularly opposed the CBI to probe. The simultaneous probe by the ED to dig out the 'money trail' has further unnerved the BJD as a chit fund company, Seashore Group, was awarded a host of health and tourism projects in which over Rs 50 crore is said to have been invested.