BJD Trains Guns On Jay Panda Over ‘Foreign Bank Account’ Issue

**Bhubaneswar:** The Biju Janata Dal (BJD) on Tuesday alleged that former MP Baijayant Panda and his wife have bank accounts in a foreign country. Party spokesperson Sasmit Patra today said that Panda should clarify whether he has kept the Reserve Bank of India informed about the said bank accounts.

The issue was first raised by Cuttack MP Bhartruhari Mahatab during Zero Hour in the Lok Sabha. He said that a “criminal prosecution” was needed for possible violation of laws relating to foreign exchange regulation and money laundering.

The senior BJD MP Mahtab alleged: “An Indian passport holder did not take the approval of the government or the RBI before the companies, in which the person, and his wife and his family friends have controlling and beneficial interests, opened bank accounts in the tax haven of Nassau, Bahamas.”

Mahtab said Panda’s defence is that “he was neither a student nor an NRI at the relevant time and therefore, he did not need prior approval of the RBI or the government before opening the account.”

Mahatab questioned: “Did he (Panda) declare the account to RBI once he returned to India and ceased to be an NRI as required under the law? He went on to question did Panda intimate the RBI and the government when closing the account?

On this account, Patra echoed Mahtab’s questions that whether Panda repatriated the entire amount held in these foreign bank accounts. “The BJP, which is so vocal about black money and money laundering is also answerable on this issue,” added Patra.

While Panda has denied any wrongdoing to National Daily, the former MP could not be contacted by OMMCOM NEWS on this matter.