Minister Pradhan pursuing political vendetta, alleges Odisha MP

New Delhi, Feb 11 (UNI) Mayurbhanj Lok Sabha Member Ramchandra Hansdah on Monday alleged the CBI is acting as a puppet in the hands of BJP-led central government and urged the ‘political vendetta’ against him by the Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan should be stopped.

While speaking to UNI after a dharna at Jantar Mantar in the national capital, Hansdah said a few ‘henchmen’ like the Union Minister are ‘misusing’ central agencies such as CBI, ED to subdue their political opponents.

In 2011, Hansdah was director of Nava Diganta Capital Services Limited (NDSCL) allegedly collected deposits from the general public, violating companies act. During this period, he was an MLA of Nationalist Congress Party in Saraskana.

“I had invested in various forms a sum of Rs 10 lakh in the company which I had got as an arrear of the increased salaries of the MLA that was paid to us retrospectively by the assembly. But I had resigned from the company in 2012 after coming to know about the firm’s wrongdoings,” he said.

“When the firm was investigated by CBI, I got a call from a person claiming as Investigating Officer. He tried to assure me that nothing would happen to me only if I gave some handsome amount of money” he alleged.

“I didn’t respond to such an undue request and this may be the reason I have been arrested few days later,” he said.

According to reports, the NDSCL is accused of cheating investors of nearly Rs 100 crore in Odisha. On July 31, 2014, the CBI raided the MP’s Mayurbhanj house and seized Rs 28 lakh in cash. Following his arrest, the BJD had suspended Hansdah from the party.

Notably, the Supreme Court had in July, 2018 granted bail to the MP who had been in prison for around four years.

On January 5 last, he has filed a case against Union Minister Dharmendra Pradhan for allegedly making derogatory remarks against him during Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s public meeting in Odisha.

Hansdah in his petition filed at the District Court said the Minister had made offensive statements against dalits and tribals during the meeting. He was shocked over the derogatory remarks which have caused severe distress to the dalit and tribal communities. The case has been filed under section 3(I) (U) (VIII) of SC and ST (Prevention of Atrocities) Act, 1989 and sections 499, 500 and 501 of IPC.

In his complaint, the BJD MP alleged Pradhan had said “you (tribals) had elected a MP in 2014 who has spent four years in jail in his five-year tenure. Who was listening to your demands and raising developmental issues in the Parliament? The MP who had duped scores of poor investors was in jail for his benefits and not for the cause of tribal development. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is feeding the demon of corruption.”

“While the right to reputation of an individual is guaranteed under the Constitution, the Union Minister’s statement has defamed me,” he said.

Though, the District and Sessions court registered a case in this regard, but did not take any action as required by law.

“Today, on Birth Anniversary of great tribal leader Tilka Manjhi, the first freedom fighter of India, I demand the erring Minister to be sacked from the cabinet for misuse of central agencies,” he said.

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