Bhubaneswar: The Opposition Congress today demanded a CBI probe into the mining and chitfund scams, and alleged that minerals rpt minerals worth over Rs 3 lakh crore were looted during the Naveen Patnaik regime and about 20 lakh people duped by ponzi companies with government’s help.

“As M B Shah Commission has indicated the chief minister should hand over the case to CBI to ensure transparency. Naveen and his ministry have no moral authority to remain in power after failing on all fronts,” Congress Chief Whip Prasad Harichandan said initiating the debate on a no confidence motion moved by his party against the BJD government.

Retaliating at the Congress salvo, BJD Vice President and Health minister Damodar Rout said “I don’t understand the Congress’s no confidence move. They have been repeatedly rejected by people of Odisha from gram panchayat to Parliament.”

Terming the no-trust move as a publicity stunt, he rejected the demand for a CBI probe into mining and chitfund scandals. “What is there in CBI .. it has been described as a caged bird by the Supreme Court. Chief Minister has already ordered vigilance enquiries into the two scandals.”

Harichandan also dubbed the state government as inefficient and disastrous and alleged that it was run by bureaucrats with ministers keeping officers in good humour to survive.

On Patnaik’s charge of central negligence, he claimed that the UPA government sanctioned Rs 52,000 crore to Odisha between 2004 to 2009 while the previous NDA government in which BJD was a partner, gave only Rs 7,000 crore between 1999-2004.

Calling for the BJD government to go, the Congress leader said rapes and murder of women have become the order of the day, while farmers were committing suicide when the state government claimed to have increased food grain production.
Rout, however, asked the opposition not to make rape and murder cases political issues as such incidents were condemned by all and claimed that the state government achieved rare feats in food grain production, poverty reduction, checking IMR, MMR rates and control of crime.

Rout said that a large number of industries came up during the BJD government and that the socio economic condition of the people had improved.

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