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Congress sought explanation from Odisha govt on BJD MLA'S scam allegations

PTI India
Updated: 09-09-2018 22:54 IST

The Congress on Sunday sought an explanation from the Odisha government on a senior BJD MLA's allegation of "irregularities" in the distribution of loans among farmers through cooperative banks.

Damodar Rout, a former agriculture minister, had on Saturday said, "While 60 percent of the loan from the banks was issued for non-agricultural purposes, the remaining 40 percent remained only on pen and paper. In the process, there is an irregularity worth Rs 800 crore."

Seeking an explanation, state Congress president Niranjan Patnaik wondered why the Biju Janata Dal government was not ordering an investigation.

"Damodar Rout is a senior BJD leader and former minister. We believe that there might be some truth in his statement. Why is the state government not ordering an investigation? The government has to answer whether the allegations brought in by Rout are true or not," Patnaik told reporters.

Patnaik dared the government to investigate into the allegations of irregularities in Ghasipura and Keshadurapal blocks in Keonjhar district.

BJP lawmaker Pradip Purohit demanded a CBI probe into the allegations made by Rout.

On Friday, Rout had also hinted an alleged Rs 100-crore sapling scam and Rs 30-crore Orissa State Cooperative Milk Producers' Federation (Omfed) scam.

Meanwhile, Cooperation Minister S N Patro said, "Let Rout give evidence of the corruption, we will certainly investigate into the matter."

BJD spokesperson Samir Ranjan Dash asked why Rout did not raise his voice against corruption when he was a minister. "There is no point in making allegation after being out of the government. As such, Cooperation Minister Patro has said the state government would probe into the matter."