The Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) on Wednesday intensified its campaign against Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik by alleging that the probe into the coalgate would expose his role in allocation of coal blocks in the State to private parties.
On the second day of the parivartan padayatra from Cuttack, OPCC president Niranjan Patnaik said, while addressing a public meeting at Maidharpada, that several scams in the mines and coal sectors, irregularities in the purchase of dal for midday meal scheme in schools and implementation of Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme (MGNREGS) have come to the fore during the last 12 years.
Alleging that the needle of suspicion points to the Chief Minister in the mines and coal scams, Patnaik said Naveen had removed 17 ministers in the last 12 years for corruption. The people of the State should now judge how transparent his government is, Patnaik said.
Criticising the State Government for the deteriorating law and order situation in the State, the OPCC chief said only two districts were Maoist affected when BJD came to power 12 years back. Now, the Maoist presence has increased to 22 districts because of ineffective tackling of the problem, he said and added that this points towards the performance of Naveen who is also the Home Minister for the last 12 years. Patnaik said the State Government had hijacked 17 welfare programmes launched by the Centre and implemented those by claiming those as its own schemes.
Former Union minister KC Lenka, former MP Anant Prasad Sethi, OPCC vice-president Kishore Chandra Patel, president of the Odisha Pradesh Mahila Congress (OPMC) Bijaylaxmi Sahu, All India Mahila Congress (AIMC) secretary Ashima Mahanand and several senior leaders accompanied Patnaik in the padayatra.