Odisha CM should step down for mining scam: Mishra

Demanding CBI probe into mining scam in Odisha, Leader of opposition in state assembly Narasingha Mishra on Friday asked Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to step down from office to ensure fair inquiry.

Bhubaneswar: Demanding CBI probe into mining scam in Odisha, Leader of opposition in state assembly Narasingha Mishra on Friday asked Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to step down from office to ensure fair inquiry.

"There is prima facie evidence of the chief minister's complicity in the mining scam in the report submitted by Supreme Court-appointed Central Empowered Committee," Mishra told a press conference here.

Stating that the CEC has indicted the state government for the mining scam, he said since no credible investigation is possible as long as Patnaik is the chief minister, he should step down.

The Congress leader pointed out that ministers facing corruption were dropped from the council of ministers by the Chief Minister during last several years.

"Now in view of the final report submitted by the CEC to the apex court should not Naveen Patnaik step down from the office," Mishra asked.

CEC's report not only puts the Chief Minister under the shadow of corruption but prima facie establishes that he is a party to different mining scams in the state, he claimed.

Experience shows that during last 14 years the chief minister was playing to the gallery and to some extent created an impression in the mind of people that he is clean and above corruption, he said.

Now it is high time that he immediately puts in his papers and allow impartial probe into the charges made against him by an agency like CBI, he said.

In CEC's report in Para 138, there is clear finding that the renewal of the mining lease by the state with effect from 14.8.2001 was in clear violation of MMDR Act, 1957 and MCR, 1960 and as such the renewal of the mining lease is null and void and of no effect, Mishra claimed.

BJD spokesperson Pratap Keshari Deb refuted the allegation levelled by Mishra saying CEC report has not named the chief minister or any minister.  

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