BJP attacks Naveen Patnaik over Coalgate

Last Updated: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - 20:40

Bhubaneswar: Stepping up its attack on Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik over Coalgate, the BJP on Wednesday said CBI`s plea to PMO for access to files relating to coal block allocation to Hindalco will dig out `more skeletons` and expose Patnaik`s role in it.

"Naveen Patnaik cannot escape in Coalgate. He will be thoroughly exposed as CBI wants to get access to files relating to coal block allocation to Hindalco from the PMO to look into Patnaik`s role in the episode," BJP`s state unit president KV Singhdeo told reporters here.

"BJP is not against recommendation to any project but why selective when it is related to the interest of the state? Why not recommend other applicants too?" Singhdeo asked.

The BJD government had urged the Centre to grant coal blocks to selected companies, he said adding Patnaik had himself written to the prime minister stating that it would generate more jobs and industrial growth than the state-owned NLC`s power-generating plant.

The preferential treatment accorded to selected private companies by the BJD government needs to be thoroughly investigated, he said adding the party was `leaving no stone unturned` to mislead people over Coalgate.

While the CM`s recommendation letter to the PMO speaks of possible development in the state, the government`s affidavit to the court and press statements by party leaders are contradictory, Singhdeo claimed.

The PMO on the other hand had not exonerated the chief minister for making selective recommendation. It had said the decision to allocate coal block was taken on the basis of the recommendation made by the state government.

On recommendations made by chief ministers of other states for coal blocks to various companies, he said they did not adopt any pick and choose approach like Odisha government.

The screening committee, in which Odisha Mines secretary was a member, had in fact rejected Hindalco`s proposal.

"Then on what basis did the chief minister make the recommendation?" Singhdeo said, adding Patnaik`s selective favouritism to few parties had exposed his modus operandi where he put his interest above the state`s interest.

PTI

First Published: Wednesday, October 23, 2013 - 20:40

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