BJD-BJP lock horns over gangster Tito’s filling station allotment

Bhubaneswar: Odisha’s major political parties Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) have once again crossed swords. This time the politicos are entangled in a war of words over allotment of filling stations to Kendrapara-based gangster Syed Usman Ali alias Tito.

While the ruling party demanded Petroleum and Natural Gas Minister Dharmendra Pradhan’s resignation, the saffron party alleged BJD is scared after CBI probe has been ordered into gangster’s dubious transactions.

BJD Rajya Sabha member Pratap Keshari Deb, at a press conference in New Delhi, demanded resignation of Dharmendra Pradhan alleging the latter’s link with Tito’s crime syndicate.

Questioning Pradhan’s silence over the allotment issue, Deb said: “The Minister should resign from his post on moral ground. Why no action was initiated when the irregularities came to the fore? Will the CBI probe this particular case or other such cases too? Has the probe been ordered to shield someone?”

Reacting to this, BJP held a press conference here where senior Orissa High Court lawyer and BJP leader Pitambar Acharya dragged BJD leaders into the controversy.

Acharya alleged that Tito’s crime world flourished under the patronage of Pratap Keshari Deb, Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak and Kishore Tarai. The gangster’s siblings had joined BJD in the past, he added.

Veteran Congress leader Narasingha Mishra questioned as to how a person having criminal background was allotted a fuel outlet without background verification.

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