Bhubaneswar: Sacked Odisha Minister and staunch Biju loyalist Damodar Rout has clarified that he was asked to resign which he refused to oblige and was hence dismissed.
“I was at a friends’ get together at Boriki High School when I got a call from Principal Secretary to the Chief Minister to put down my papers. I refused to resign. I said why I should resign without any reason. Chief Minister has lost his confidence in me. Since he has lost his confidence in me he has dismissed me,” said Rout in his unique candid style on his reaction to the development.
Earlier in the evening, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had announced Rout’s dismissal from the Council of Ministers for making alleged casteist remarks.
Notably, Rout in his speech at the Malyabanta Mahotsav in Malkangiri recently while drawing a comparison had said that Adivasis never beg even in any adverse situation while Brahmins beg for alms if the situation so demands.
This remark had sparked severe resentment among the Brahmins, who had demanded an apology from Rout while seeking his sacking by the Chief Minister.
Meanwhile, Panchayati Raj Minister Pradip Maharathy has been given additional charge of Agriculture & Farmers’ Empowerment, Fisheries and Animal Resources Development and Finance Minister Sashi Bhusan Behera has been given additional charge of Public Enterprises.
These ministries were earlier held by Rout.