Flyover collapse: Oppn corners Arun Sahoo

Bhubaneswar: A day after the collapse of a portion of the flyover at Bomikhal, the BJP and the Congress alleged that BJD MLA and former minister Arun Sahoo is a business partner of the construction company, Panda Infra Projects, which was constructing the flyover.

Speaking to reporters here, BJP MLA Pradip Purohit alleged that Panda Infra Projects, which was once blacklisted for violating security guidelines, was given the contract as Sahoo is a partner of the firm. Sahoo had showed favour to the tainted company when he was the law minister, Purohit alleged.

“The construction firm was once blacklisted. But, after getting a certificate from the Orissa High Court, the government has again given it the contract. Why the state government did not move the Supreme Court then?” he asked.

The BJP MLA also claimed that the project was supposed to be completed at Rs 20 crore but the cost went up to Rs 44 crore due to percentage (PC) taken by the officials.

“The L-shaped project was changed to T shape,” he alleged. The construction company had given Rs 10 crore to the BJD for its Swabhiman rally held a few months ago, the party alleged.

The saffron party leader demanded a statement from Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in this regard on the floor of the Assembly. He further sought resignation of the CM on moral grounds as he is in-charge of the works department.

Leader of the Opposition too levelled similar allegations against the ruling party for the flyover mishap.

“A former minister and BJD MLA has a 50 per cent stake in Panda Infra Projects. Therefore, the leader is shielding the once blacklisted firm,” said leader of the Opposition Nursingh Mishra.

However, Sahoo rejected the allegations. “I am neither directly nor indirectly related to Panda Infra Projects. They should know that a person can’t contest election or hold the post of an MLA if he is found holding an office of profit or indulged in any profit-making initiative. If they have any proof, they should put forth the evidence to cancel my Assembly membership,” dared Sahoo.

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