TMC not in touch with us: Naveen Patnaik

Bhubaneswar | Odisha Chief Minister and Biju Janata Dal (BJD) president Naveen Patnaik on Tuesday said the CBI should do non-political jobs and that nobody from the Trinamool Congress (TMC) had spoken to him on any issue, including the recent standoff between the central probe agency and the Kolkata Police.

“No one from the TMC has been in touch with us for at least a year,” Patnaik said, replying to reporters’ queries during his tour to Koraput on whether TMC supremo Mamata Banerjee had spoken to him on the Kolkata Police-CBI standoff.

Earlier in the day, Banerjee reportedly said in Kolkata that she would consult Patnaik over the continuation of her dharna. The West Bengal chief minister has been staging a protest over the CBI-Kolkata police imbroglio in Kolkata since Sunday night.

“Our party’s statement on Monday had to do with events in our own state,” Patnaik told reporters.

The BJD had clarified that its statement on the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) was in relation to Odisha and the overall issues confronting the probe agency at the national level and should not be used to club it with any political party or grouping.

The statement had said the “institutional integrity of the CBI has to be restored. We are a mature democracy and professionalism should be maintained” and pointed out that there was “sudden action” by the investigating agency just before the panchayat polls in the past.

“Now, before the general election, the move by the CBI smacks of unprofessional conduct and is coloured with political motives,” it had added.

The statement apparently referred to the CBI’s recent notice to two BJD MLAs and former ministers in connection with a chit fund case. Both the MLAs have said they will respond to the probe agency’s notice.

Asked to comment on the activities of the CBI, which have been criticised by many opposition parties including the BJD, Patnaik said, “We, like everyone else, would like to see the CBI do a professional and non-political job.”

On the Supreme Court’s directive on the Kolkata Police-CBI standoff, he said, “We will follow the Supreme Court judgment.”

To a question on whether the CBI had issued a notice to him, Patnaik shot back, saying, “Absolutely nonsense.”

Earlier, Odisha BJP leader K V Singhdeo had sought a clarification from Patnaik on whether the central probe agency had issued notice to him in connection with the chit fund scam.

The BJP leader had said he had sought the chief minister’s clarification on the basis of media reports.

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