Congress demands CBI probe in Odisha mining scam

Bhubaneswar, May 19 (IANS) Accusing Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik of systematically covering up the mining scam in Odisha, the Congress party here Sunday demanded a Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) probe into it.

Former state congress president Niranjan Patnaik said the scam in Odisha was on the lines of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh but no arrests have been made so far.

The investigation launched by the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) government focused on political propaganda by targeting a few known mine-owners rather than looking at the larger issues, including money laundering and large-scale involvement of politicians and bureaucrats, the Congress leader alleged.

“People with political affiliations with all major political parties were involved and many of them are well known and yet they have not faced a thorough probe,” he said in a statement.

“The mining mafia continues to fund political parties and have naturally received political protection. They will utilise more of this money in the next elections unless they are stopped by a thorough CBI investigation as has happened in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka,” Patnaik said.

“I see a threat to democracy from such huge amount of slush money,” Patnaik stressed. During his earlier stint as the state Congress president, he had waged a relentless campaign to expose many scams by the Naveen Patnaik government.

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