BHUBANESWAR: There seems to be no respite for Minister of State for Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Sanjay Dasburma, who is in the line of opposition fire for the last one week for his alleged links with scam-tainted chit fund company Artha Tatwa, with senior Minister Damodar Rout advising him to take a call on ‘moral responsibility’.
Without taking the name of Dasburma, the senior Minister asked, “How can one know the character of a person inducted into the party (BJD)? If that person is found guilty of committing a crime, the party should not be blamed.”
Asked about the demand of opposition political parties for the ouster of Dasburma from the Ministry, Rout said, “Those who are in public life should try to protect their dignity (‘Alo sakhi apana mahata ape rakhi’).” Rout is the second senior BJD leader who has supported the opposition demand for Dasburma’s ouster.
Earlier, leader of the BJD Parliamentary Party in Lok Sabha Bhartruhari Mahatab had also supported the demand for the Minister’s resignation by saying, “Resignation is a good suggestion”.
The statement of Rout has compounded the problem of Dasburma who is under concerted attack from Congress and BJP. While the BJP has threatened to take to the streets if Dasburma did not put in his papers, Congress has already announced its decision to hold a demonstration on April 26 in Bhubaneswar over the issue.
Meanwhile, senior Congress leader Lalatendu Bidyadhar Mohapatra challenged Dasburma to come clean on the allegations of his links with the chit fund company. “I challenge him to give details about the funds from chit fund companies invested in firms owned by his relatives and family members or I will come out with more revelations on April 19,” Mohapatra said and demanded a high level probe into the allegations.
State BJP president Basanta Panda on Wednesday reiterated the demand for resignation of Dasburma from the Ministry and threatened to launch an agitation if the latter continued to hold the post. “He should be asked to resign immediately by owning moral responsibility,” Panda said.
The BJD, however, continued to support the beleaguered Minister. Reacting to the opposition demand for Dasburma’s resignation, party spokesman Amar Prasad Satpathy said the demand for the Minister’s resignation is immature.
To Skip Aahar Centre Launch in Paradip
Excise Minister Damodar Rout has decided to skip launching of the Aahar scheme at Paradip on Thursday.
In a letter to Jagatsinghpur Collector, the senior BJD Minister said he cannot attend the launching ceremony as he will remain occupied. Rout, who is busy with the Kujang Mahotsav, said the launching can be done either by the Jagatsinghpur MP or Paradip Municipality chairman.
The State Government will launch 100 more Aahar centres at different urban centres on Thursday. Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will inaugurate the launching ceremony at Cuttack where three more centres will be opened. Aahar centres at different places will be launched by Ministers, MPs, MLAs and other functionaries.
Rout said there is no necessity of Aahar centres at Paradip where people come from rural areas for jobs.
Aahar centres are now functioning at Bhubaneswar, Cuttack, Berhampur, Sambalpur and Rourkela where a meal of rice and dalma is available for Rs 5.