Bhubaneswar: Ruling BJD members rock Orissa Assembly over involvement of senior Congress leaderís family member in Mining scam. The ruling BJD on Friday sought to know whether the miner in question, Indrani Patnaik was Ďrelativeí of a leader of an Opposition party in the state.
The allegation came a day after the Vigilance registered case against Indrani Patnaik, who owns Triveni Earth Movers Pvt Ltd on Thursday. Illegal production and dispatch of iron ore by Triveni Earth Movers Pvt Ltd caused a loss of about Rs 131.44 crore to the state exchequer.
Raising the issue during Zero Hour, BJD member Pravat Ranjan Biswal said Indrani Patnaik Mines siphoned off minerals worth Rs 132 crore. ďIndrani Patnaik is a close relative of Congress leaders. By demanding a CBI inquiry, the Congress is making an attempt to suppress these facts. Only through Vigilance inquiry, all these things have come up,Ē Biswal maintained.
BJD member Pradip Maharathi was more pinpointed in his attack on the Congress on the issue. ďIs Indrani Patnaik the sister-in-law of former Congress Minister Niranjan Patnaik?Ē he asked, adding that people should also know whether she was a close relative of former Chief Minister JB Patnaik. ďThose who have looted the minerals of the State should be handcuffed and made to kneel in public,Ē he said. BJD member Pravat Tripathy said those who had looted the minerals have now started saying loudly that others are looting minerals.
ďThough the company has got a licence to dig out only 6 million tonne of mineral, it has unearthed 26 million tonne of minerals,Ē he said. BJD member Rabi Nanda said how Indrani Patnaik Mines was able to get the lease licence only in five days should be inquired into. Supporting Nanda, other members from the ruling party said as Vigilance was doing its job meticulously in a professional manner, there was no need to order for a CBI probe. It may be noted that Indrani Patnaik is the wife of former Congress Minister Niranjan Patnaikís elder brother Dipti Ranjan Patnaik.
The Opposition Congress reiterated their demand for CBI inquiry into the multi-crore mining scam. They even demanded a white paper be released on mining irregularities at the earliest.