Kolkata, Dec 15: West Bengal is not the only state to have been hit by scams. There is Odisha as well and it is not as though the magnitude of the scams here are any less. Then why is Mamata Banerjee in the news and not Naveen Patnaik? The answer is a simple one. Patnaik is clear that law will take its course and the guilty punished.
Whereas Mamata Banerjee on the other hand has refused to acknowledge a problem and wants laws changed instead on the pretext that the Central government is hatching a conspiracy against her.
"Change the law" is what Mamata Banerjee had to say to her officials after her transport minister, Madan Mitra was arrested by the Central Bureau of Investigation in connection with the Saradha scam. Her idea of the law is that the CBI ought to have sought the permission of the Speaker of the West Bengal legislative assembly before picking up a sitting minister as law and order is a state subject.
For Mamata, what is more important is a conspiracy she alleges on part of the Central government. The fact that 17 lakh poor people were duped is not important. The fact that terror was being manufactured in her own state to attack another nation is not important. Conspiracy is.
Are they no bamboos in Odisha?
Odisha has had its fair share of problems when it comes to corruption. The Saradha scam has its traces in Odisha's northern part. Moreover, there is also the Seashore which has led the CBI to carrying out almost 30 raids in different places.
Does one get to see Naveen Patnaik wielding the bamboo in Odisha? He has instead acknowledged the problem and has always said law will take its course. It is up to the investigators to probe and try the accused in the court which takes a final call is what Patnaik has been maintaining.
The Saradha scam has had its effects in Odisha as well. Ramachandra Hansda a BJD MLA was booked. Even Subrana Nayak a former MLA of the part was also booked after the CBI conducted raids.
There have been scams galore in Odisha as well. After the Saradha scam, the state had witnessed the Artha Tatwa and Seashore scam. The advocate general of the state Ashok Mohanty had stepped down after his name was dragged into the Artha Tatwa scam. This scam also saw the names Pravat Tripathy and Kappataru Das cropping up.
Patnaik weilds the whip not the bamboo:
The law has caught up to several BJP leaders, but there is a sense of fear among them. This is largely because Patnaik has said in clear terms to his party men that if you have done wrong face it. There is a court which will decide on the matter. Do not expect protection if you have wronged. You are guilty until proven otherwise, he had told them. This led to several resignations and also many had lost lucrative party posts after their names cropped up in scams.
This message was good enough for all his men not to resist probes and make a political mockery out of the alleged wrong that they may have committed.
CBI officials tell oneindia that there has never been an instance of anyone trying to obstruct them. The CBI officer says that the message to them has gone loud and clear from their leadership that they will cooperate with the probe. Moreover the state police too have been cooperative and unlike in West Bengal where it is a nightmare to probe cases, Odisha has been very different, the officer informed.
In West Bengal, it appears as though there is an all out war between the state machinery and the central agencies. Mamta was quick to point out that the law needs to be changed and since law and order is a state subject her officers and the speaker should be informed before any arrest was carried out. This was a direct reference to Madan Mitra who was arrested last week for the Saradha scam.
Didi a reminder:
Some questions that Mamta needs to answer here. When the Saradha scam broke out how serious were you regarding the investigation? It was the Supreme Court which intervened and directed a CBI probe as there was no faith in your state machinery investigation.
When the Serious Frauds Investigation office probed the Saradha scam, why did they have to point out in their final report that they are unable to probe fully due to heavy obstruction from your leaders and officers?
Why is conspiracy being alleged all the time now? Kunal Ghosh who was your party man made allegations against you and your leaders. Is this also a conspiracy?
Why did you go ahead and get Ahmed Hassan Imran to the Rajya Sabha when there was a specific red flagging by the Intelligence Bureau? Why were your police officials in a hurry to destroy evidence in the Burdhwan case? There was video footage of your police officials dumping the explosives in an attempt to cover up the issue.
The NIA charter clearly states that it can commence a probe in a case relating to terrorism even without your consent. However the centre had sought your permission as the spirit of any law would ideally state that it would good to have the state machinery on board since law and order is after all a state subject. However you took very long to respond.
Don't you have faith in the courts:
Instead of quoting the bamboo all the time, Mamta Banerjee ought to have quoted the law. The Central Bureau of Investigation or the NIA or the ED are all investigating agencies. They probe cases and just a reminder, they do not conduct a trial.
The cases are first heard in your own state as the trial court jurisdiction falls there. The courts do give you a right of hearing and your leaders if at all are innocent will have their chance before the court. Have you lost faith in the judiciary as well?
Remember that the Patnaik government too has been hit by scams, but he still enjoys the good will of the people.