Odisha: Naveen Patnaik Expels Soumya Patnaik & Another MLA From BJD; Know Why
Bhubaneswar: BJD president and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Thursday expelled Khandapada MLA Soumya Ranjan Patnaik and Remuna MLA Sudhansu Sekhar Parida from the party for alleged ‘anti-people’ activities.
According to the office order, Parida, when he was managing partner of Nigamananda Associates, Balasore, in connivance with others misappropriated government subsidy, meant for farmers, of more than Rs 3 crore from 2017-18 to 2019-20. This matter is being inquired into by the State Vigilance on the orders of the Lokayukta, it said.
The BJD termed the FIR lodged by an ex-employee of Sambad against its editor, Soumya Patnaik, as a serious case of organised bank fraud. “On an FIR by an ex-employee of Sambad Newspaper a case under Sections 306/467/468/471/420/120-B IPC has been registered against him and others by Economic Offences Wing (EOW), Odisha. Further many ex-employees of Sambad newspaper have made similar allegations with EOW Odisha. It is a senior case of organised bank fraud involving loan worth crores of rupees taken in the name of more than 300 employees Sambad by using fraudulent means and forged documents.”
This came almost a week after Soumya Patnaik was removed from the post of party’s vice president amid speculation of possible disciplinary action against the lawmaker over his critical views on the ruling dispensation and 5T secretary V K Pandian and the seemingly growing differences within the ruling party ahead of twin elections scheduled in April 2024 in Odisha.
The Remuna MLA has been accused of swindling crores of rupees meant to subsidise farm equipment purchase by Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes beneficiaries. In June, acting speaker of the state Assembly Rajanikant Singh had submitted his ‘cryptic’ views to the Lokayukta of Odisha that is hearing a petition on alleged embezzlement of farm machinery subsidy money.
As per the findings of the vigilance inquiry, notices were also served to the MLA and his partners along with 15 other agents/associates of the firm.