Now, Odisha Lokayukta to probe graft charges against expelled BJD MLA

Odisha Politics

Bhubaneswar, December 7: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday referred the corruption allegations levelled against Gopalpur MLA Dr Pradeep Panigrahy to Lokayukta for investigation.

This is the first corruption allegation referred by State Government to Lokayukta after its creation in February 2019.

“CM @Naveen_Odisha has referred the corruption allegations against Gopalpur MLA Pradeep Panigrahi to Hon’ble Lokayukta of #Odisha for investigation. This is the first corruption allegation referred by #Odisha Government to Lokayukt after its creation,” tweeted Chief Minister’s Office (CMO).

On December 3, Panigrahy – a three-time MLA and a former Minister was arrested by the Crime Branch for allegedly defrauding people promising them jobs in Tata Motors, and sent to jail.

Panigrahy was accused of collecting money in the name of providing jobs in a private company on behalf of Akash Kumar Pathak, son of suspended IFS officer and Additional PCCF, Abhay Kant Pathak.

State Vigilance had arrested Abhay and Akash on November 27 on charges of amassing Rs 9.3 crore disproportionate assets. Recently, the Crime Branch registered a case against Akash for allegedly impersonating as a senior functionary of Tata Motors and duping several unemployed persons from Ganjam district by promising them jobs in the reputed company.

Akash and Panigrahy have been charged for impersonation, cheating, forgery, criminal conspiracy and other cyber offences. Panigrahy was expelled from the BJD on November 29.

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