Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said nobody from the TMC had been in touch with him for almost one year and whatever the BJD had said with regards to the CBI was entirely in the context of Odisha.
He was responding to a statement made by West Bengal Chief Minister Mamata Banerjee on Tuesday that she would contact her Odisha counterpart since he had supported her protest to safeguard federalism.
Anxious to distance himself from the opposition grouping, CM Naveen Patnaik told mediapersons in Koraput that he was not in touch with the TMC and that the statement made on Tuesday by the BJD should not be viewed in the context of what was taking place in Bengal or what other political parties were saying.
Patnaik had refused to react to the CBI issue on Monday.
The eagerness with which the BJD has tried to distance itself from the ‘Mahagatbandhan’ (it had not attended the Brigade Parade ground rally last month) is being interpreted as an act of self-protection lest it incurs the wrath of the BJP-led central government and the CBI.
This was exposed by the sequence of events in the BJD here on Monday.
While the CM refused to comment, BJD spokesperson Sasmit Patra had issued a statement calling for professionalism in the CBI and also referring to its investigations in Odisha.
BJD parliamentary party leader in the Lok Sabha Bhatruhari Mahatab too spoke of lack of professionalism in the CBI, and went on to remark that over the last few months it was working like a stooge of the ruling party.
A prompt reaction by Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan saying BJD was with the TMC triggered near panic among the BJD powers that be here and a clarification was issued late in the night emphasising that the earlier statement should not be read or associated with the parties that were supporting Mamata Banerjee. It was done entirely in the context of Odisha, said the party.
On Tuesday, CM Naveen Patnaik tried to further drive home the point, lest the BJD was linked to the Mahagatbandhan parties.
To a question on the BJP allegation that the CBI may come knocking at his door, the CM called it “utter nonsense”.
Congress circles here were quick to say that the BJD’s panic over the chit fund scam investigation stood exposed as had the “secret deal” between the BJP and the BJD. The CM and the BJD got so scared of any misrepresentation of its stand that clarifications were issued on Monday and once again on Tuesday. The BJD went out of the way to ensure that its bosses and the CBI were reassured of the ongoing partnership, said a Congress leader.
Meanwhile, in the Odisha Assembly, BJP members stalled the question hour forcing the Speaker to adjourn the House twice by raising slogans and sporting jackets calling Mamata and Naveen chit fund “scamsters”.
The Congress too was in a disruptive mood raising farmer issues such as loan waiver, pension for farmers.