Bhubaneswar: Intensifying demand for
resignation of Odisha`s Health minister over the recent hooch
tragedy which claimed 40 lives, Opposition Congress on Friday
sought arrest of senior officials responsible for the
The issue was raised in the Assembly during zero hour
by the leader of opposition Bhupinder Singh who demanded a
statement from Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on the matter.
"The House must be informed by the chief minister as to
why the Health minister and his department is not responsible
for the death of 40 people in the hooch tragedy," Singh said.
Stating that preliminary inquiry by the Commissioner
of police showed the people died of consumption of hooch
containing medicine, Singh alleged that the chief minister was
protecting the Health minister while the then Excise minister
AU Singhdeo had resigned on moral ground.
"The Commissioner of police and the District Collector
(Cuttack) have told the media that it was a case of medicine
tragedy and not hooch tragedy as alleged," Singh said.
Senior Congress member Santosh Singh Saluja demanded
arrest of Health minister, Health secretary, Drugs Controller
and the drugs inspector under section 302 of IPC for the death
of 40 persons in the tragedy.
"If the then excise minister could resign, why not the
health minister who is equally responsible for the death of 40
persons," Saluja asked raising question on BJD government`s
claim about transparency.