Bhubaneswar: BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik seems to have finally realised that the CBI prosecution of his leaders during the last five years is “highly politcally motivated”. Taking into consideration this, he is perhaps considering giving tickets to those prosecuted by CBI in chit fund cases.

Patnaik Tuesday hinted about it when he said that “winability” will be the criteria for selection of candidates for the upcoming Lok Sabha and State Assembly elections. Further, by refusing that his BJD party is going to have alliance with any party in the state, he only strengthened that most of the sitting MPs and MLA enjoying popularity so far as public perception despite the CBI cases against them would be accomodated in the candidate list. Patnaik could have denied tickets to these leaders by accommodating candidates of alliance partner in their constituencies.

Notwithstanding the CBI cases against them, Balasore MP Rabindra Jena, Mayurbhanj MP Ram Chandra Hansda, Banki MLA Prabhat Tripathy, Cuttack-Choudwar MLA Prabhat Biswal enjoys popularity in their respective constitutencies. Smilarly, Subarna Nayak, former MLA from Keonjhar sadar, who has been implicated in Nabadiganta Chit Fund scam by the CBI, has lot of prospects of winning the seat again. The victory of two young leaders Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak and Arun Sahu, who have been noticed by the CBI, from Mahakalpada and Nayagarh assembly constituencies is a foregone conclusion. Also in the radar of CBI are former minister Debi Prasad Mishra and Sanjaya Dasburma. Both Mishra and Dasburma are winning candidates from Badamba-Narsinhpur and Brahmagiri.

Naveen had suspended Prabhat Tripathy, Rama Chandra Hansda and Subarna Nayak from the party immediately after CBI arrested them. He, however, refrained from suspending Prabhat Biswal realising that the CBI is prosecuting with political motive. Meanwhile, Patnaik has lifted suspension order from Tripathy. However, Rama Chandra Hansda, a powerful leader of Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) in Mayurbhanj district, had joined the BJD in 2014 to contest successfully the Myurbhanj Lok Sabha seat, and Subarna Nayak are waiting for the suspension order to be lifted.

It is widely believed that the CBI. under pressure from its political masters at the Centre, is trying to implicate key leaders of the ruling BJD.