Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s close colleague and MP, Pinaki Mishra, who heads the Parliamentary Standing Committee on Urban Development, had not expected that he would attract police action over payola for publicity. Police has received the FIR against the mischief, but has not yet dared to register it, as action against Mishra would open up a new gate for action against the Chief Minister; because the particular transaction indicates that he and his colleagues are operating a parallel economy through black money in active operation through secret accounts in a nationalized bank like the UCO Bank.
It transpires that the District Information and Public Relations Officer, Puri had invited the journalist to a press meet to be addressed by Sri Mishra. Usual kits supposed to be carrying the written version of what Sri Mishra was to say were handed over to the scribes. But currency notes were found in every kit to their horror and embarrassment.
The journalist rightly raised their protests against the nasty tricks to pollute the Press and left the press meet instantly and went en masse to the area police station and filed FIR. Besides being corruptive, it is a contemptuous offense against freedom of Press.
Mishra has laid the blame on UCO Bank for this shenanigan. Caught red-handed, it is not unnatural for him to blame the bank to save his own skin.
But this illicit transaction strongly suggests that Naveen Patnaik and his close colleagues in the ruling party are operating secret accounts in UCO Bank and the UCO Bank that is holding their black money is ensuring payments to whosoever whenever they are instructed to. Otherwise, today, when all the Banks are inoperative due to strike by bank employees all over the country, UCO bank could never have put the money in Journalists’ kits as payola for publicity of the BJD MP.
This is a serious, very serious exposure. The truth – whether or not the CM – Naveen Patnaik – and his close colleagues like the MP Pinaki Mishra and leaders of the ruling party – BJD are holding black money in UCO Bank and operating the same in any form for any purpose must come out. And, it is incumbent upon the Central Government to ask the CBI to find out the truth, because UCO Bank is a nationalized Bank, which has been admitted by the MP to have conducted this transaction. From whose and which account and under whose instruction and signature the UCO Bank had drawn the money on a day of no banking must be clarified by the said Bank as well as the Central Government.