Kendrapara: Even though issues like motorable roads, electricity, education and healthcare figure at the top of the voters’ wish list in Kendrapara, scores of people here are sore over the money they have lost to ponzi firms.
An association of the chit fund victims has been carrying out an agitation for an indefinite period which reminds voters of their losses to the chit fund firms.
Candidates of opposition parties like Congress and BJP have been highlighting the issue before the voters, apart from basic issues.
Ponzi companies like Rose Valley, Oscar, Seashore, Artha Tatwa and others have duped thousands of people in the district of crores of rupees through lucrative schemes.
The chit fund scam has broken the financial backbone of thousands of gullible people, whose sufferings and unhappiness are expected to reflect on the polling, some political observers said.
Notably, the state government had constituted a corpus fund of Rs 300 crore in 2016 to return the invested money to the complainants.
The ponzi victims had furnished their documents related to the deposits at tehsil offices with the hope of getting the refund, but to no avail. It was seen that voters are now asking the candidates during the campaigning about refund of their hard-earned money.
The ponzi victims under banner of ‘Arthika Sanstha Dwara Khyatigrasta Milita Mancha’ have launched indefinite protests in front of all tehsil offices in the district.
At some places, sarpanch, samiti member and zilla parishad candidates are facing questions over the issue from the voters. Many of them are trying to evade the questions with the assurance they would fight for return of their money.
Swarnalata Sahu, a resident of Mangalpur under Derabish block, said she had invested `16 lakh in a chit fund company, but could not get back her money even after running from pillar to the post for years.
“The creation of a corpus fund has rekindled our hope of getting back our money and we had also furnished our documents at the tehsil offices, but no step was taken in this direction,” she said, adding that the ponzi victims have resumed the agitation over the government apathy.
SK Azan, a resident of Kendrapara Town, claimed that over 10,000 people in the district have been affected by the ponzi scams.
“Some people who had parked their money, which they had saved for their daughters’ marriages, in ponzi companies have become paupers now. All their deposits have gone down the drains. Some people have even died waiting for their deposits,” he rued.
Those who have saved their money in Sahara group are in utter misery. Candidates of the ruling party are facing questions directly from the people about the chit fund money.
“However, BJP and Congress candidates are taking advantage of the people’s discontent and blame it on the ruling party. Chit fund has become a major issue in most rural pockets,” Azan added.