I-T raid: BJP alleges link of ruling party leaders with liquor traders, BJD reacts

Bhubaneswar: With simultaneous raids by Income Tax (I-T) sleuths still underway for the fourth day on different locations linked to liquor traders in Odisha districts, the BJP state unit today alleged that the BJD government and some leaders of the ruling party have an unholy nexus with the tax evaders.

Ministers Niranjan Pujari, Pradip Kumar Amat, Tukuni Sahu, and Jogesh Kumar Singh are involved in the illegal activity. “A Jharkhand Congress MP owns the liquor company but BJD is its manager,” BJP leader Lekhashree Samantsinghar said.

“The liquor companies have been doing business for the last several years in Odisha, but what state Vigilance, Crime Branch, Excise and Economic Offences Wing (EOW) have been doing?” the senior BJP leader questioned.

“Liquor traders are a good source of illegal funding for ruling BJD during elections. A single company was appeased by awarding it repeated tenders. The Chief Minister and the Ministers concerned should clarify this. A big raid was possible due to the ‘Modi Guarantee’,” Lekhashree stated.

Reacting to this, Ranpur BJD MLA Satyanarayan Pradhan said, “Our party legislators and ministers, in no way, have any link with the liquor traders. The CM has assured that the law will take its course. Whoever is at fault will not be spared and action will be taken against the wrongdoer(s).”

After crores of rupees were recovered from liquor traders during the I-T raid, senior Congress leader Suresh Routray said, “Sahu Family from Jharkhand is a Zamindar Family and are doing liquor business for generations. BJP had asked them for money during recent Assembly elections in Telangana.”

As the liquor trader did not part with the purse, the Central government conducted the raid, Routray added.

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