BHUBANESWAR: The Opposition Congress on Sunday demanded a CBI probe into the agreement between the BJD and the Chasi Mulia Adivasi Sangha (CMAS) for the post of president of Koraput Zilla Parishad.
Because of the assurances given in the agreement, the Independent candidate, owing allegiance to CMAS, voted in favour of the presidential candidate of the BJD which proved decisive, Leader of the Opposition Bhupinder Singh told mediapersons here. Both the BJD and the Congress had won 14 seats each while the CMAS-backed Independent held the key to the post of president.
Criticising Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for ignoring the issue completely in his statements given on the hostage crisis, Singh and Congress Chief Whip Prasad Harichandan said the agreement must have been cleared by him. They maintained that a CBI probe can only unearth the truth in the matter.
If non-fulfilment of the agreement is the reason behind the kidnapping of the MLA, the State Government should take immediate steps to secure abducted MLA Jhina Hikaka’s release, they added. The two Congress leaders said the circumstances leading to the kidnapping of the MLA are confusing. Singh said in every case the personal security officer (PSO) of the VIP is made the first target. In the case of Jagabandhu Majhi, his PSO was gunned down by the Maoists, Singh said. But in Hikaka case, apart from his PSO, the driver was also allowed to go unharmed, added Singh.
The Congress leaders alleged that the agreement between the BJD and pro-Maoist CMAS has established the link between the two.
They questioned the manner in which the talks between the Government and Maoist interlocutors were suspended. Besides, the Chief Minister should also not request them to announce the name of their mediators, they said and added the abductors would announce the names on their own.
The Congress MLAs continued to stay put in the Assembly demanding a discussion on the abduction of the MLA and strengthening MLAs’ security.