Odisha chit fund scam: Naveen’s aide appears before CBI

Reported by Santosh Jagdev
Bhubaneswar, Nov 22:

The ongoing CBI investigation into the Odisha chit fund scam today reached the doorsteps of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik when his personal aide Saroj Sahu reached the CBI here this afternoon for questioning after receiving a summons from the central probe agency.

Pic: Biswaranjan Mishra
Pic: Biswaranjan Mishra

Sahu entered the CBI office at around 2.30 pm and came out shortly before 4 pm. When asked about his interrogation after he came out, he declined to say anything beyond claiming that he was in no way involved in the chit fund scam.

“I have answered whatever questions were put to me by the CBI. I cannot tell you what they asked me about,” was all Sahu was prepared to say before leaving the CBI premises.

Earlier, while going into the CBI office here this afternoon, Sahu had said he had no idea why the CBI had called him. “I don’t know why I have been called by the CBI. I have come here after receiving a call from the CBI, ” he had said.

CBI sources, however, indicated that he could have been questioned about the Seashore group of companies.

Sahu is the coordinator of the Chief Minister’s programmes and works from Naveen Nivas, the latter’s residence. He is also the political secretary of the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and splits his time between Naveen Nivas and the BJD state office in Unit VI here.

Press releases issued by BJD often bear his signature. Naveen Nivas insiders say no one can meet the Chief Minister at his residence without Sahu’s nod.

Earlier in the day, RK Nanda, a marketing manager of Artha Tatwa (AT) group of companies, appeared before the CBI for questioning. He used to look after the events and advertising business of the company, sources said.

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