Odisha: CBI Becomes Active Before Elections, Political Vendetta Or Coincidence?

30 January 2019

Debashish Maharana

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Bhubaneswar: With the 2019 elections barely three months away, the CBI, investigating into the multi-crore chitfund scam in Odisha, West Bengal and Assam has switched on the ‘action’ button.

So far as the chitfund probe in Odihsa is concerned, the Central Agency took over the probe from State Crime Branch in 2014. However, over the past six months the CBI was assumedly dormant.

The last occasion when the CBI acted in the Rs 500 crore Seashore scam was in July 2018 when a couple of Government officials were summoned and quizzed.

As the news about CBI summons to BJD heavyweights Atanu Sabyasachi and Arun Sahu spread like wildfire, political circle is abuzz that the BJP-led Centre is carrying out a political vendetta, right before the elections.

Senior journalist Rabi Das said that time and again the CBI is being used as a political tool.

“The agency should have been proactive consistently during the course of the chitfund probe, which did not happen. If these summons (to Atanu and Arun) are the part of a political game, then the CBI would only denigrate its credibility further," he added.

"It is strange to note that while the CBI goes an extra mile to act against politicians from the opposition, the same agency literally limps to book leaders of the ruling party (at Centre)," Das added.

On the other hand, BJD leaders have targeted BJP president Amit Shah of remote-controlling the CBI. Party spokesperson Sameer Das said that every other time when Shah makes a visit to the State, the CBI's 'stunts' are accentuated.

"The CBI is marred with internal bickering and indiscipline. The agency's affairs have turned to ugly that the Supreme Court needed to intervene," said Das.

BJD's Minority community affairs Secretary Sasmit Patra said, "Barely two weeks are left for the code of conduct to be imposed before the elections. The timing of the Central Agency's action is questionable."

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Rabi Das, Senior Journalist

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Sameer Das, BJD Spokesperson

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Sasmit Patra, Secretary, Minority Community Affairs, BJD