RTIwala Explains: Odisha BJD MLA’s Chit Fund Scam
Prabhat Biswal, Biju Janata Dal MLA was arrested from his Cuttack residence early Tuesday morning over the land deal with Seashore Group chief Prashant Dash. He is accused of swindling more than Rs 500 crore from people through a pyramid scheme. The arrest of Prabhat Biswal, Biju Janta Dal MLA, a close confidant of chief minister Naveen Patnaik, could potentially give fresh ammunition to the BJP which is trying to overthrow the BJD in the 2019 assembly polls.
BJP is working on all the plans to use the arrest for its own benefit. It is to be noted that The Seashore Group is one of the 44 companies probed by CBI since May 2014 following a Supreme Court order.
Not The First in Odisha; Many MLAs Impending Similar Justice
Several other MLAs and MPs of the ruling party were arrested earlier for their alleged involvement in other chit fund scams in the state. The CBI arrested Banki MLA Pravat Tripathy in the Artha Tatwa chit fund scam, Mayurbhanj MP Ramachandra Hansdah and former Keonjhar MLA Subarna Naik in the Nava Diganta chit fund scam. Besides them, Balasore MP Rabindra Jena, Dharmasala MLA Pranab Balabantaray, former minister Sanjay Das Burma are under the CBI scanner over their alleged involvement in several chit-fund scams.
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Arrested by a team of Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI). Prabhat Biswal, Biju Janta Dal MLA, was picked up late on Monday night from his Cuttack residence and declared arrested on Tuesday morning. The Cuttack-Chowdwar BJD MLA was quizzed four times earlier in connection with a land deal with the Seashore Group chief Prasant Das. His wife Laxmibilasini Biswal was also earlier quizzed by the CBI regarding her involvement in the Jajpur Benapur land scam. It is suspected that they had sold land to the Seashore Group for a hefty amount and could not explain the details of the illegal transactions. The couple failed to produce the documents and sale deeds about the land deal. Seashore CMD Prashant Dash had paid Rs 25 lakh for the land in cheques in April 2011, the remaining amount was to be paid after registration.
However, Dash had cancelled the deal later and wanted his money back. Biswal was the second BJD MLA to be arrested after Prabhat Tripathy, who is on bail. BJD MP Ramchandra Hansdah was languishing in jail for his alleged involvement in the chit fund scam.
The CBI has already filed a charge sheet in the Rs 500 crore Seashore chit fund scam.
Prabhat Biswal, Biju Janta Dal MLA: The ruling party attacks CBI and BJP of vindictive politics
Meanwhile, the ruling party said the arrest was politically motivated. “Centre is using the CBI for political gains. This is vindictive politics. Centre used the CBI against (Trinamool chief) Mamata Banerjee, (Rashtriya Janata Dal supremo) Lalu Prasad and even media promoter Pranoy Roy. Now, it is targeting the BJD,” Subash Singh, BJD leader said.
This particular reaction shows the inability faced by the current government in Odisha. The consecutive occurrence of events has brought a lot of difficulties for the government. We hope that the state of confusion ends soon before it’s too late to mend. This particular arrest, however, has raised many eyeballs. The government needs to be really cautious of any further move.
(Inputs by Gehna Kundra)