Bhubaneswar: Hours after BJP demanded the
Chief Minister`s resignation in the wake of Orissa High
Court`s observation on state`s "inconsistent" mineral policy,
Congress on Tuesday asked Naveen Patnaik to step down from office
to prove his respect for law of the land.
"Patnaik often says that law will take its own course.
Now the court of law (Orissa HC) has indicted the state
government in strongest words finding it on wrong foot while
disposing a case relating to recommendation of Posco-India`s
name for prospecting license (PL) over an iron ore reserve,"
senior Congress leader Narashingha Mishra told reporters here.
Dubbing Patnaik as a person who had "no respect" for
the laws, courts and Constitution, Mishra challanged him to go
by law in context to recent High Court judgement.
Citing an instance of the chief minister`s alleged lack
of respect for law, the senior Congress leader pointed out
that Lok Pal`s direction in connection with the land
acquisition for Vedanta University project, was also not
abided by the state government.
Though the Lok Pal had asked the state government to
take action on its recommendation on Vedanta University case
within 90 days, nothing was done, Mishra said.
In the much-hyped mining scam also the state
government failed to arrest the real culprits or seize
minerals worth Rs 110 crore stolen by a private company even
after one year, he alleged.
Cautioning the chief minister, the Congress leader
said that Patnaik should step down voluntarily as the law has
been chasing him on different cases.
"Now the chief minister is liable to criminal
prosecution in view of the observations made by the High Court
on mineral policy," Mishra said.
Quoting a portion of the HC judgement of July 14, Mishra
said "This clearly shows that the stand taken by the
government is totally inconsistent and the mineral policy of
the state is totally in a mess and the state government has
adopted a policy that would suit to the situation and suit to
Meanwhile, the agitating Congress MLAs already on
dharna over coal scam demanded a probe by Comptroller and
Auditor General (CAG).
Accusing the chief minister of shielding the two
ministers in the coal scam, leader of opposition Bhupinder
Singh alleged that more ministers could be part of the