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Ponzi scams in West Bengal and Odisha- Will Mamata Banerjee learn a lesson from Naveen Patnaik?
One would definitely agree that 'Saradha ponzi scam' was the first big scandal in eastern part of India to be exposed, which duped around 17 lakh people under the alleged patronage of ruling Trinamool Congress party.

There are also allegations of fund siphoning to Bangladesh and Western Asia through Hawala and Jamat-e-Islam conduit. CBI is investigating and perhaps NIA would also join as the terrorist angle has been added.

However, this scam is no bigger than chit fund scams in Odisha. There were lots of scams that had been exposed, including 'Artha Tatwa' , 'Seashore' and many more small chit-fund network. Even Saradha group too duped many people in northern Odisha. The quantum of scam is roughly 5000 crore larger than that of Saradha scam.

No ponzi scam is ever possible without political patronage, especially ruling party's patronage. BJD is the longest ruling party in Odisha now. Many of its MPs, MLAs and other office bearers have been found indulged in such chit-fund scams.

In Saradha scam, the sitting BJD MP, Ramachandra Hansda (Mayurbhanj) and former BJD MLA Subrna Nayak was booked after raids at their houses. In 'Artha Tatwa' scam, sitting BJD MLA Pravat Tripathy, BJD Rajya Sabha MP Kalpataru Das too are summoned by the CBI.

Apart from this, the BJD sympathizer media house owners such as Madhi Mohanty, and Manoj Das have been already arrested. Ashok Mohanty, former Advocate General of Odisha have been also summoned. Mohanty had resigned just three days back.

In the mean time CBI is also planning to expand its investigation area in Seashore ponzi scam. It is being told that number of BJD MLAs are likely to be summoned and arrested in the process of the wider investigation.

Thus like Saradha scam in West Bengal, in Odisha also there are lots of shock waves in the political circles due to CBI investigation. This coupled with the coal scam has severely hit Odisha's BJD government.

However there is a difference in Odisha when compared to West Bengal. Here although BJD politicians are with awe and fear of the investigation, but none is there to defend the accused nor anyone obstructing the CBI investigation nor anyone criticizing the Central government for misusing CBI for political revenge. BJD supremo follows rule that the political representatives are guilty unless proved innocent.

That is why Kalpataru Das, the Rajya Sabha BJD leader had to resign. The Odisha's Advocate General Ashok Mohanty had to also resign probably for the same reason. All others are although allowed to remain as BJD member but they are stripped of party posts. There were some land grabbing scandals also. It is expected that some ministers along with the Revenue Minister is in the line to be sacked as the evidences have started coming out.

The point is simple. Naveen Patnaik is in no mood to defend anybody. He always used to say that 'law will take its own course'. He also assured that he wouldn't defend even accused ones. He is following that principle in letter and spirit. That's why despite a bigger scam, Naveen Patnaik still enjoys the popular support. People understand that there might be corrupt BJD politicians who are, but Navin Patnaik is neither corrupt nor would be protecting any corrupt when exposed.

Contrary is the case of West Bengal CM Mamata Banerjee. She openly states that CBI enquiry is a conspiracy by the Central government. She defends and protects her MPs, MLAs and party office bearer. She sends her youth functionaries for demonstration in front of CBI office.

Both Mamata Banerjee and Naveen Patnaik are always viewed as honest leaders. Cases of ponzi scams are similar in both the states. CBI is investigating in both the states. But approach of the chief ministers is different. That's why public too view the CMs differently. In Odisha, despite bigger scams, Naveen Patnaiks popularity remained same, where as in West Bengal Mamata Banerjee is losing her image of a charismatic leader.

Will Mamata learn a lesson from Naveen Patnaik?

Editorial NOTE: This article is categorized under Opinion Section. The views expressed in this article are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent the views of merinews.com. In case you have a opposing view, please click here to share the same in the comments section.
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Sankara Narayanan
Quote: "People understand that there might be corrupt BJD politicians who are, but Navin Patnaik is neither corrupt nor would be protecting any corrupt when exposed". Unquote: Joke of the decade. A few tributes to Odisha govt by Shah Commission & CEC which probed the mining scam - easily the biggest scam in eastern India and one of the biggest in all India level: Appendix-A Gist of Shah Commission's observations & findings in Para 14. Chapter 2 "From the inquiry conducted by the Commission, it is apparent that All modes of Illegal Mining, as stated in the notification dated 22nd Nov 10 of the Central Government, are being committed in the State of Orissa. Based on the facts gathered and analysis to them highlight a complete disregard for law and lawful authorities on the part of many among the emerging breed of entrepreneurs, taking undue advantage of country’s Natural and Non-renewable assets/resources for export earnings. Pursuit of Super Profit has absolutely drained them of any feeling for fellow human beings/for the Nation and the moral values. Secondly, it appears that law has been made helpless because of its systematic Non-Implementation. Instances of Non-implementation of law have led many people in this country to believe that disregard of law pays and those consequences of such disregard will never be visited upon them - particularly, if they are men with means and deceitful skill to pollute and spoil the administration''. Central Empowered Committee in its concluding part: “Widespread and rampant illegal mining operations have been taking place in Odisha. The organized illegal mining is taking place with active support of the Government and has resulted in the breakdown of the constitutional machineries.” Unquote: Will any person with some semblance of idea about the working of govt conclude all these frauds were committed without the blessings of Naveen Patnaik? Let there be a CBI inquiry on the mega mining loot and you will see dozens of BJD & BJP netas plus babus rushing to courts for anticipatory bail. Less said about the land/building allotted under the discretionary quota by Naveen Patnaik the better. I invite readers' attention to this piece by another senior journalist Sampad Mahapatra from Bhubaneshwar on all the efforts being made to paint a clean image for Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. His piece, appropriately entitled 'The Fabric Whiteners, is here:
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