The Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) stepped up attack on the Naveen Patnaik Government over corruption issues linking several ministers with graft and scams.
Chairman of the OPCC media cell and former minister Narsingh Mishra said going by the Cabinet ministers, transparency and efficiency do not seem to be the criteria in the Naveen Patnaik Government. Though there is much propaganda about transparency by the BJD, there are at least seven ministers who are tainted, he said.
Alleging that the formation of the Cabinet has exposed the anti-Dalit character of the BJD, Mishra said not only the ministry does not have adequate representation of Dalits, anti-dalit personalities have also found a place in it, he said. After the latest reshuffle on August 2, the Ministry now has only one Dalit minister of state.
Sources in the BJD said link with dissident Rajya Sabha member Pyarimohan Mohapatra was the sole criterion for removal of ministers after the May 29 abortive attempt to unseat Naveen as the chief minister. After the incident, eight ministers have been removed for being Pyari loyalists.
The issue of tainted ministers in the Naveen Cabinet is going to be raised by the Opposition political parties, Congress and BJP, in the monsoon session of the Assembly beginning August 28.
The State Government is plagued by several scams during the third term of Naveen. But the ministers who were alleged to be involved in these irregularities are still continuing in the Ministry.
The multi-crore mining scam, the linkage coal scam and alleged encroachment of Government land are some of the issues which had pointed needle of suspicion at some of the ministers. Besides, several ministers in the present Cabinet had corruption charges against them in the past.