Bhubaneswar: Odisha Excise Minister AU
Singhdeo on Thursday resigned following the hooch tragedy in Cuttack
and Khurda districts which has claimed 30 lives so far.
Singhdeo sent his resignation on moral grounds through
a special messenger to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik`s office,
The letter was received by the CMO when Naveen Patnaik
was campaigning in Ganjam district for the ensuing panchayat
The chief minister and Singhdeo were not immediately
available for comment.
It was not immediately known whether the chief minister
accepted the resignation by the senior BJD leader which came
ahead of the rural polls in the state.
Dubbing the resignation as drama to present a clean image
before panahayat polls, senior Congress leader Sarat Rout said
Singhdeo`s resignation was meaningless as the chief minister
himself should step down on moral grounds.
Opposition political parties, including the Congress
and BJP, have been demanding resignation of the chief minister
and Singhdeo holding the BJD government responsible for the
Singhdeo was the fifth minister to quit since BJD came
to power for the third time in 2009.
In February last year Pramila Malik had resigned as
women and child development minister, while Pravin Bhanjdeo,
Damodar Rout and B Hariha had been dropped in May last year
from the ministry.
Similarly Pradip Maharathy had resigned last month as
agriculture minister over the Pipili rape episode.