The war within the CBI has generated ripples in Odisha on Wednesday with leaders of the BJP and the Congress alleging that the mega chit fund scam probe has been scuttled and buried for good by corrupt officers of the central agency who had perhaps entered in to a ‘deal’ with the Naveen Patnaik government.
The bribery charges against top CBI officers including Rakesh Asthana who had been overseeing the Ponzi scam probe in Odisha prompted the political circles to wonder aloud whether money had exchanged hands to go slow on the chit fund scam probe.
After all that has happened in the CBI, nothing can be ruled out, they said.
Expelled BJD veteran Dr Damodar Rout said it is very much possible that BJD ministers and MLAs who are involved in the scam bribed their way out of the scam. The CBI had virtually “knocked” at the door of CM Naveen Patnaik when it grilled his aide/staff Saroj two years ago. Since then the probe has been in cold storage, he charged.
Senior BJP leader Bijay Mahapatra said, “Two years ago, I had publicly questioned the CBI investigation and how it was not progressing as per its mandate, today my suspicion has been confirmed. When I said it several others in the BJP had rubbished me and claimed that the CBI is doing its job. Today, all those who had championed the cause of the CBI have no place to hide.”
Mahapatra also questioned the appointment of M Nageswar Rao as in-charge director. A lot of things were said about him when he was heading the Fire and Home Guard services in Odisha. The same kind of talk was also there in Chennai where he was posted by the CBI, he added.
Interestingly, BJP vice-president Samir Mohanty also did a turn around of sorts by conceding that corrupt officers could have been gained over by Naveen Patnaik to stall the chit fund scam. Doubts are bound to be raised in the minds of everybody, he added.
Not to be left behind, the OPCC president Niranjan Patnaik noted that the CBI had all along been used as a political tool against opponents of the BJP and the agency stands exposed today. He said one cannot rule out the BJD having gained over officers to help its leaders involved in the chit fund scam.