BHUBANESWAR: ‘’Nothing less than Chief Minister’s resignation will be acceptable,’’ thundered OPCC president Niranjan Patnaik on Thursday. So did the leaders of other parties.
And this was the mood in the Opposition camps on a day of high drama.
Not satisfied with the resignation of Agriculture Minister Pradip Maharathy, Opposition parties, including the Congress and the BJP, on Thursday demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
“Maharathy’s resignation is not enough. We want the Chief Minister to resign,” Niranjan said and asserted that the battle would continue against the Government which had failed on all fronts.
Describing Maharathy’s resignation as an eyewash and a drama, the OPCC president said the Chief Minister must step down on moral grounds.
‘’The Chief Minister is in the habit of sacrificing his Cabinet colleagues to safeguard his interest and he had done this on many occasions in the past. He has done this again to Maharathy and there is nothing new.’’ Not only Pipili but many gangrape cases have been reported from various parts of the State.
The Chief Minister, who is also holding the Home portfolio, should have resigned for the poor law and order situation, he remarked.
“If Maharathy could resign on moral grounds why not the Chief Minister who holds the Home portfolio?” asked senior BJP leader and former minister Bijay Mohapatra.
He dared the Chief Minister to hand over the case to CBI honouring the peop l e ’ s s e n t i - ments.
Making the same demand, BJP State president Jual Oram s a i d Naveen must resign on moral grounds.
The BJP will continue its agitation against the Government to ensure justice to the rape victim, he added.
Demanding a CBI probe into the incident, CPI State secretary Dibakar Nayak said the suspended inspector of Pipili Police Station should be immediately arrested and exemplary action taken against him.
Alleging that resignation of Maharathy on the instruction of the Chief Minister is a drama, the Utkal Bharat Party said ministers, who were dismissed on corruption charges, were re-inducted into the Cabinet and given ticket to fight elections.
The Chief Minister should stop this drama, said party secretary Bratati Chatterjee.
Even as Maharathy quit the Cabinet, the Opposition political parties and civil society outfits continued with their demand for a CBI probe by staging demonstrations.
The BJP Mahila Morcha organised a rally from Master Canteen to Lower PMG where its activists staged a demonstration demanding resignation of the Chief Minister and arrest of Maharathy.