Bhubaneswar, Oct 19:
After the Congress and BJP, Odisha Jana Morcha (OJM) president Pyarimohan Mohapatra today sought to corner chief minister Naveen Patnaik on the coal block allocation scam.
Addressing media persons here on Saturday, Mohapatra, the friend-turned-foe of Patnaik, asked as to what prompted the chief minister to recommend the allocation of the Talabira-II coal block to the Aditya Birla Group company when the screening committee had already rejected the proposal.
“The recommendation of chief minister favouring Hindalco for allocation of the coal block has raised eyebrows. While the screening committee, in which Odisha Mines secretary was a member, had rejected the proposal of the private venture, on what circumstances the chief minister recommended the name of Birla group to get the coal block?” asked the OJM leader.
Informing that the coal scam had started since the dubious deal between the government and Sainik mining, the Rajya Sabha member also said CBI will certainly grill the involved persons, including Patnaik, as it is being monitored by Supreme Court.
Following Mohapatra’s presser, the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) held a press conference at the party office here in the evening in an effort to counter the allegations made by the Opposition parties.
“The chief minister has done nothing wrong. He has recommended for both state PSUs and private players to get coal blocks. It is the duty of every chief minister to recommend for value addition. But, the final decision lies with Central government,” said BJD MP Pinaki Mishra.