The CBI on Saturday interrogated Saroj Sahu, the personal aide of Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, for one-and-a-half hours in connection with the Seashore chit fund scam. On Friday, BJD MLA Prabhat Biswal and Biswal’s wife were interrogated by the CBI in connection with the case.
Sahu, who looks after political work at Patnaik’s residence and doubles up as a BJD office secretary, reached the CBI office in the afternoon. “I am here after getting a phone call from them. I don’t know why they have called me,” Sahu said. Afterwards, he said that he had answered all questions. “I cannot tell you what they asked me,” said Sahu.
Sources said that he was summoned on the basis of information obtained during the interrogation of broker Subhankar Nayak, arrested by the CBI recently. CBI sources said that like Nayak, Naveen’s aide may also have acted as a broker for Seashore.
Sahu is considered close to the CM and his signature figures in statements and press releases issued by the BJD. He coordinates the CM’s programmes and mostly operates from Patnaik’s residence, the Naveen Niwas. He is known to play a key role in candidate selection.
A BJD MP and former MLA have already been arrested in the case. Naveen has maintained the party leaders acted on their own and the BJD had nothing to do with it.
Congress leader Taraprasad Bahinipati said, “After Sahu’s interrogation, Naveen has no defence left. The question now is, when is he being summoned?”
Sahu’s appearance before the CBI came a day after Naveen’s former advisor and Rajya Sabha MP Pyarimohan Mohapatra was interrogated in the presence of Seashore chief Prashant Das. Sources said the CBI plans to summon a few senior politicians and officials on Sunday.