Bhubaneswar: The four BJD MLAs, who were caught on camera while demanding money from industrialists, on Tuesday said they were targeted for being Dalits and tribals.
“As we belong to scheduled caste and scheduled tribe category, we are being targeted,” this is what the MLAs said in a press release.
They also welcomed the vigilance probe ordered by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik into the sting operation.
“We welcome the vigilance probe into the sting operation. We hope that truth will come out in the probe ordered by Chief Minister,” the legislators said in a joint press release.
Four MLAs of the ruling party-Seemarani Nayak (Hindol), Susant Kumar Behera (Chhendipada), Bijay Kumar Nayak (Karanjia) and Anam Nayak (Bhawanipata)-were caught on camera while demanding money from industrialists.
However, their excuse that they were targeted being tribals and Dalits did not justify their point. Because they are not the only lawmakers belonging to the two categories in the Odisha Assembly.
Odisha Assembly has 147 members, and 56 seats have been reserved for SC and ST members.
Meanwhile, BJP accused the state government of hoodwinking the people in the name of vigilance probe.
“Ordering a vigilance inquiry is hogwash. The Chief Minister is trying to hoodwink people after the expose. Those MLAs should have been asked to resign immediately. Instead of deceiving people with such gimmicks, Naveen babu should opt for a fresh mandate to test his popularity,” said BJP spokesperson Sajjan Sharma.