Cong seeks CM`s resignation, Naveen says CAG castigated Centre

Congress sought the resignation of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik over the coal blocks allocation issue.

Bhubaneswar: With Congress seeking the resignation of Odisha Chief Minister over the coal blocks allocation issue, the state`s ruling BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik on Monday said CAG has castigated the Centre and not his government.

Patnaik`s reaction came after Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in a statement in Parliament named Odisha among other major coal-bearing states allegedly opposing to a switchover to competitive bidding process for coal blocs allotment.

"The CAG report castigates the central government and not states like Odisha," Patnaik told reporters reacting to the Prime Minister`s statement in both Houses of Parliament.

Meanwhile, opposition Congress said the chief minister should resign on moral ground for his role in coal blocs allotment in Odisha. Patnaik had written to the Centre recommending coal block allotment to private companies while opposing auction and competitive bidding, they said.

"We don`t demand Patnaik`s resignation. He should resign on his own before pointing fingers at the central government," Congress Chief Whip Prasad Harichandan told reporters after the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) meeting on the eve of the monsoon session of the assembly.

Both BJD and Congress held their legislature party meetings and chalked out their strategies for the session.

"Besides certain bills, we will raise Central negligence on issues like fertiliser, reduction in the railway budget," Patnaik said.


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