BHUBANESWAR: Opposition Chief Whip Mohan Majhi on Thursday created ripples in the Assembly by seeking protection for 27 MLAs whose life he said was under threat from the mining mafia.
He urged Speaker Surjya Narayan Patro to take action in the connection.Majhi, who has been raising the issue of a mining scam in the Assembly for the last two days, spoke about the security of legislators during zero hours.
Speaking to mediapersons outside the Assembly, Majhi said minor minerals like sand, chips and more worth around Rs 35,000 crore are being smuggled out by the mafia. The loot is going on with the knowledge of the police and revenue officers.
Apart from the theft of major minerals like iron ore and manganese, Majhi said there has been a massive loot of minor minerals from sairat sources. Those who are opposing the loot are becoming the target of the mafia.
“I do not want to name the MLAs due to the sensitiveness of the matter. All I can say is that I am also one of the targets and I will disclose the names at an appropriate forum,” he said when asked to reveal the legislators who are facing threats from the mafia.
He, however, said that the MLAs belong to both the ruling and Opposition parties and asserted that he will expose the mines mafia at an appropriate time.
Referring to the government's claim that the State is in revenue surplus because of increasing mining revenue, which is around Rs 38,000 crore and expected to cross Rs 50,000 crore next year, the BJP legislator said the State could earn more revenue if the loot of minerals is stopped.
Majhi had escaped unhurt last year when two motorcycle-borne miscreants hurled country-made bombs at his vehicle while returning home from a meeting in Keonjhar district. He urged the Speaker to direct the government to take action against the mining mafia operating in the State.