State

Chit fund scam: Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik is chief conspirator, alleges BJP

Bhubaneswar, Nov 12: Maintaining that the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leaders have close links with the chit fund companies, the Odisha BJP on Tuesday painted Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik as the chief conspirator in the multi-thousand crore chit fund scam being investigated by the CBI in the state.

"You (the chief minister) conspired as a leader of the party and the state government. You have sponsored the scam. You are conspirator of all the scams...," said senior BJP leader Bijay Mohapatra.

Mohapatra said the chief minister and the ministers of the BJD government inked memorandums of understanding (MoUs) with chit fund firm Seashore Group which has duped thousands of depositors in the state.

He said the signing of MoUs with the tainted company establishes the close links of the ministers and the government with the chit fund companies.

"All the organs of the government failed... Now, the law is taking the right course in the chit fund scam," said the BJP leader.

With the BJD leaders alleging political conspiracy after several party leaders were arrested by the CBI, Mohapatra pointed out that the Supreme Court had earlier said that whosoever is affected by the inquiry claims innocence.

Mohapatra said the chief minister is the culprit in the scam for signing MoUs even after the Central Economic Intelligence Bureau informed the Odisha government in February, 2011 about illegal money circulation schemes by Seashore and asked for action against the company.

He said the chief minister attended the launch ceremony of the Seashore-floated news channel in March, 2011, more than a month after the Centre had informed the state administration about Seashore's financial fraud.

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