BHUBANESWAR : Alleging that the shifting of the LNG terminal project from Paradip port to Dhamra port is a big scam during the NDA Government's tenure at the Centre, former union minister and Congress leader Srikant Jena on Saturday demanded a CBI probe into the matter."In whose interest, the memorandum of understanding (MoU) signed between GAIL (India) and Paradip Port Trust (PPT) on October 27, 2013 to set up the LNG terminal at Paradip port was cancelled and a private company was involved in the project," Jena asked at a media conference here.
The private company is the largest shareholder by holding 49 per cent of shares, Jena said and alleged that both the Indian Oil Corporation Limited (IOCL) and PPT would turn into sick companies because of the shifting of the project from Paradip to Dhamra. Union Minister of State for Petroleum and Natural Gas Dharmendra Pradhan should clarify under whose pressure, the private company was involved in the project, Jena said and also demanded a probe by Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) to find out the financial implications for the IOCL and PPT because of the decision.
Jena criticised Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for his silence on the matter and alleged that boycott of the Bhumi Pujan ceremony by him was an eyewash to avoid the core issue. Leader of the Opposition in the Assembly Narasingh Mishra also described the boycott of the ceremony as an eyewash and asked why he (the Chief Minister) had given his consent, if he was not to attend the function.
He, however, criticised the BJP for doing narrow politics over the project by not inviting the Congress to Bhumi Pujan ceremony. "In whose interest, the project was shifted from Paradip to Dhamra and why the Congress was left out," he asked.Meanwhile, BJD spokesperson and MP Pratap Keshari Deb said the Chief Minister had given consent to attend the function as it was a Government programme. However, he decided to stay away when it was understood that it would become a political event.