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Pradeep Panigrahi’s Expulsion From BJD Invites Mixed Reaction

Bhubaneswar: The decision of BJD supremo-cum-Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to expel Gopalpur MLA Pradeep Panigrahi “for his anti-people activities” has invited mixed reaction across party lines.

Assuming that the decision was influenced by the fact that the son of suspended IFS officer Abhay Kant Pathak, Akash Kumar Pathak, was scheduled to marry Panigrahi’s daughter, Leader of Opposition (LoP) Pradipta Naik questioned what was the fault of Panigrahi or his daughter.

“Panigrahi is innocent; steps should be taken to punish the culprit,” said Naik.

However, Congress MLA Santosh Singh Saluja alleged that Abhay Kant Pathak had carried out corruption to the tune of crores with the influence of Panigrahi. He demanded that Panigrahi should also be brought under the purview of the SIT probe into Pathak’s disproportionate asset case.

Senior BJD leader Ananta Das said that the party supports the decision of supremo-cum-Chief Minister. SIT probe is to be conducted under the supervision of a sitting Judge of the Orissa High Court, which is more impartial than that conducted by the CBI.

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