‘Expelled’ BJD MLA Defends Tainted Odisha IFS Officer; Know What He Said About ‘Anti-People’ Charges
Bhubaneswar: Hours after being expelled from BJD for alleged ‘anti-people’ activities, former minister and Gopalpur MLA Pradeep Panigrahi on Sunday challenged the mediapersons, who approached him for his reaction, to prove the charges against him.
“I have never engaged in any anti-people activity. Theshould clarify the offence for which I was expelled from the party. The journalist should unearth these charges,” he said.
KNOW WHAT HE SAID:
>> The BJD MLA refuted charges of taking money from sand mafias and 80 liquor shop owners in the district.
>> Alleging COVID-19 mismanagement, Panigrahi said that MLA Purnachandra Swain’s father, who died due to coronavirus, failed to get an ambulance. “Later, I called Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and the matter was resolved. Surprisingly, Swain got a call inquiring about his father’s health after the latter’s death,” he said.
>> The BJD MLA alleged that the party instead engaged in anti-people activities.
>> “I was in charge of 15 assembly constituencies and I ensured win in 12 of them. Provide proof of wrongdoings if any.”
>> “I was removed from the charge of Hinjli on the false pretext that I indulged in criminal activities and threatened the people of the constituency.”
>> “I was entrusted to oversee BJD’s election affairs for Kendrapada Lok Sabha and Assembly seats and ensured the party’s victory against Baijayant Panda and Ganeswar Behera. But after emerging victorious in polls, everyone forgot me and many lobbied to take credit”.
>> I was pulled up for calling CM to warn him about a possible government collapse. There is resentment among senior party leaders for not being able to meet the CM directly.
>> Panigrahi also defended the suspended IFS officer Abhay Kant Pathak and his son Akash, who was scheduled to wed his daughter on December 11, and said that they are victims of political vengeance and vendetta.
>> He said that Akash was ITER student and was working in Romania. He returnedto look after his ailing mother. He was selected by Tata Group and allowed to travel by charter flights by the company.
However, the MLA was unable to provide any proof to substantiate his claim.
The bureaucrat was found in possession of disproportionate assets of Rs 9,35,42,594, which is 435 per cent beyond his known sources of income.