Orissa: Probe into horse-trading charges

Orissa govt has asked home department to probe alleged horse-trading during last year`s RS polls.

Bhubaneswar: The Orissa government on Friday asked the home department to probe alleged horse-trading during last year`s Rajya Sabha elections even as Opposition
Congress and BJP demanded a CBI inquiry into it.

"The matter has been referred to the home department for examination," Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik told reporters here.

The state government directed the investigation in view of media reports and some television channels airing audio tapes alleging behind-the-scene deals, Home Secretary UN Behera said.

"We may try to procure the audio tapes from the TV channels if required," Behera said while declining to comment if the police would be involved in the investigation.

Congress and BJP, however, dismissed the probe. "We demand a CBI probe as the home department cannot give justice. How can the home department probe the role of the chief minister who also holds home portfolio?," asked PCC president Niranjan Patnaik.

Stating that the Congress has already demanded the resignation of the chief minister who was also president of the ruling BJD, the PCC chief said that home department could not probe the involvement of two ministers accused of making a deal with an MLA for abstaining from voting for the victory of the BJD`s third candidate.


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