OPCC demands CM’s scalp

Published: 17th March 2013 10:23 AM  |   Last Updated: 17th March 2013 10:23 AM   |  A+A-


The Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) on Saturday demanded resignation of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik over rising atrocities against women and the number of scams which has come to the fore in his third term.

Patnaik has failed to ensure the dignity of women and provide a transparent government, said OPCC media cell chairman and former minister Narsingh Mishra.

“Patnaik has no moral right to continue as the Chief Minister,” Mishra said and  demanded a CBI probe into Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) and Delhi-based Sainik Mining and Allied Services Limited (SMASL) joint venture.

Stating that from the beginning, Congress had favoured a CBI probe into joint venture, former minister said latest report of Comptroller and Auditor General (CAG) has proved the party’s point. The report stated that the JV partner, SMASL, submitted its price bid in 2002 when the coal from Utkal D block was mandated to be sold to Odisha Power Generation Corporation (OPGC) on long term basis which was later changed for open market sale.

Due to the changed nature of allotment of coal block in 2003, commercial aspects of the project underwent change leading to extension of undue favour to SMASL in the form of additional financial benefit, the report stated.

Stating that joint venture was okayed despite SMASL having no experience in mining, Mishra said according to CAG, the joint venture also violated Coal Mines (Nationalisation) Act, 1973 and coal block allocation orders. As CAG report has established that the joint venture was not above board, the State Government should immediately agree for a CBI probe, he said.

As per official reports, Odisha registered four rape cases per day in 2012-13 as against three per day in 2011-12. This is the highest increase in the rate of rape in the country, the Congress leader said and added that Dalit women are the worst victims.

Referring to the gangrape and murder of a 16-year-old girl in Gondia block, Mishra alleged that police have failed to ensure safety of women. He also condemned the murder of a lady judicial officer in Balasore. If lady judicial officers are not safe in the State, what about ordinary women, he said.

He demanded immediate removal of Minister for Higher Education Badrinarayan Patra for the leak of Plus Two question papers.

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