In the 2019 elections Shravasti, Ambedkar Nagar and Nagina seats were won by the BSP and Jaunpur by the SP candidates.
Even as the ongoing Income Tax raids on liquor merchants and outlets across several districts of Odisha and seizure of huge amounts of cash continue, Union Education Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Saturday expressed his deep concern over the issue with the state unit of the BJP demanding a probe by the CBI.
Earlier the state BJP president Manmohan Samal, seeking a CBI probe, alleged that several ministers and MLAs of the State were linked to the liquor merchant who is under the IT scanner.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik should come out with a statement in this regard, what was the state excise doing and how come hundreds of crores is found in backward districts like Bolangir and Boudh, he said, adding that it has brought disrepute to the State in the eyes of the entire nation.
Never before has the coastal State witnessed money laundering of this magnitude with hundreds of crores of unaccounted cash being seized, Union Minister Pradhan said.
Even the Prime Minister has taken serious cognizance and said the guilty will not be spared and the money of the poor people will be returned to them, he further noted.
Implicitly referring to the link of the illicit trade to a Congress leader of Jharkhand , Pradhan said the party has suddenly gone silent on the entire issue.
BJP MP Aparajita Sarangi was more direct when she told media persons here that the Congress has become synonymous with ‘scam’ and this is yet another example.
Noting that the raids by the IT were linked to Jharkhand, Odisha and West Bengal, Pradhan said it is shocking to note that the Odisha government agencies were apparently clueless when such trade was going on for years and money stashed in country liquor outlets, distilleries, etc.
It may be noted here that the Income Tax department raids against a distillery group and its linked entities has unmasked huge stashing of unaccounted cash, which reportedly shot up to Rs 300 crore. The official confirmation on the extent of cash seizure is however yet to be made by taxmen.