Orissa agriculture minister Damodar Rout resigns
Amid speculations about a possible ministry reshuffle in Orissa, agriculture minister Damodar Rout on Monday resigned after being asked by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to do so.
Bhubaneswar: Amid speculations about a possible ministry reshuffle in Orissa, agriculture minister Damodar Rout on Monday resigned after being asked by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to do so.
"I was asked to resign as minister and accordingly I
sent my resignation letter to the chief minister," said Rout,
who was embroiled in a controversy for alleged casteist
remarks made by him last year.
Though a few other ministers were also believed to
have been asked to put in their papers apparently as part of
the process for a reshuffle, it could not be officially
Rout came under flak for allegedly making certain
remarks about dalit leaders - Jagatsinghpur MP Bibhu Tarai
and MLA BC Das besides some officials at a meeting in
Jagatsinghpur district in August 2010, sources said.
A case was registered against him under the Scheduled
Castes and Scheduled Tribes Prevention of Atrocities Act, 1989
following a complaint lodged by two persons, they said.
The senior BJD leader later regretted his remarks and
secured bail after appearing before the court but his rivals
within the ruling party and some dalit organisations continued
to attack Rout demanding his removal from the ministry.
A section of Dalits met PL Punia of the national
commission for scheduled caste and scheduled tribes and drew
his attention to Rout`s utterances.
Thereafter the commission had summoned the
superintendent of police of Jagatsinghpur district asking him
to appear before it for alleged inaction and delay in the case
involving Rout, they said.