Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik distances party, govt from chitfund scam arrests

New Delhi, Nov 5: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Wednesday distanced his government and the BJD from the chitfund scam over which several BJD leaders, including an MP have been arrested by CBI.

"They have been arrested by the CBI. But this has nothing to do with the party. It is an indivudial business. The law will take its course," said Patnaik, who was subjected to a volley of questions on the issue.

Asked whether he concedes that there was a scam, the BJD supremo merely said, "Let the investigation give its report". He had spoken in similar vein in Bhubaneswar yesterday after being pushed to a corner over the arrest and interrogation of party leaders by CBI.

"The government after all is not involved in this (scam)," he had said, adding, "We have done our best to clean up the mess." Patnaik's statement is significant in view of the fact that the state government had signed an MoU with Seashore Group, one of the 44 ponzi companies allegedly involved in the chitfund scam.

Meanwhile, a report from Bhubaneswar said that the arrested MP Ramchandra Hansda alleged that the action against him was part of a political conspiracy against the ruling BJD in Odisha. Hansda has been suspended from the party following his arrest yesterday.

Earlier on October 31, the BJD had suspended its Banki MLA Pravat Tripathy from the party after he was arrested for his alleged links with Artha Tatwa Group, another ponzi company accused of duping thousands of investment.

Patnaik met Finance Minister Arun Jaitley and sought relief and assistance for people hit by Hudhud and Phailin cyclones which caused major devastation in the state.


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