March 16, 2021 7:30:21 pm
In a complaint filed before the Odisha Lokayukta, a BJD MLA, Sudhanshu Sekhar Parida, has been accused of swindling crores of rupees meant to subsidise farm equipment purchase by Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes beneficiaries. The legislator, from Remuna constituency, has termed the allegations “baseless”.
In the complaint, filed by social activist and Balasore resident Tanmaya Mohanty, it has been alleged that Rs 9 crore in subsidy funds were siphoned off between 2017 and 2020 by Nigamananda Associates, a firm owned by Parida which sells agricultural equipment.
Naran Majhi, a native of Mayurbhanj, who had bought a harvester from the firm, said,” After I initiated the purchase of the equipment, I received Rs 6 lakh as subsidy amount in my account but within a day, Rs 5.4 lakh was debited from my account. When I went to the unit to make the final purchase, they further demanded Rs 40,000 from me.” Majhi’s case is among those forwarded to the Lokayukta.
Opposition parties have demanded the MLA’s resignation. Former Remuna MLA Govind Chandra Das said, “Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has always portrayed his government as a zero-tolerance government towards corruption. If that is the case, he should take prompt action and order an inquiry against his party MLA here.”
Parida called the allegations a conspiracy. “Let the law take its own course. The allegations are baseless,” he added. The BJP has also alleged the complicity of the agriculture department and the vigilance department.
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