Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, Jan 22:
BJP president Rajnath Singh today avoided pointing fingers at the Naveen Patnaik government for the huge mining scam in the state. Singh parried direct questions on the subject during his interaction with the media at the state BJP office here this evening .
This is being seen as part of the party’s plans to keep the former ally in good humour ahead of general elections.
Singh denied that his party is in any discussion with any party in the state including the BJD for any pre-poll alliance. While he launched a scathing attack on the Congress for its involvement in a number of big scams, he preferred to keep mum over the Rs 65,000 crore mining scam in Odisha.
“The state government’s tenure will come to an end after few months. So, there is no point discussing this. When we will come to power, that is after the next election, we will initiate an inquiry,” said the BJP national president.
Rajnath’s statement appeared baffling in view of the fact that the findings of the Shah Commission inquiring into the scam were out in the public domain and the fact that the Commission has already indicted the Naveen Patnaik-led government for illegal mining is common knowledge today.
Even when media persons wanted his response to Naveen Patnaik’s statement that BJP was a communal party, Singh said “The BJP party is most secular party in the country. It is the Congress, which is playing communal card not BJP. BJP’s political agenda is for justice and humanity.”
When asked about the the ‘third front’ projecting Naveen Patnaik as a potential prime ministerial candidate, he said it is a hypothetical question.
The BJP president, however, praised its prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in glowing terms and said, “People of the country want a clear majority and stable government. BJP will give them the stable government. We have a tried and tested leader in Narendra Modi, who has contributed for the development of Gujarat and will be a decisive leader for the country.”
Reacting to the dismal performance of BJP in the urban polls in the state, Singh said the party will come out with renewed vigour in the coming two months.
However, the silence of the central leadership over Naveen Patnaik and his government has not gone down well with the state leaders, who are demanding a CBI inquiry into the mining scam and other misdeeds of the government.
“If our Central leadership will shower praise on Naveen Patnaik eyeing to get his assistance during and after the elections, what can we do ? All our efforts to target and attack the BJD government all these years will go in vain and the party will never be able to gather strength or boost the morale of its cadre,” said a senior party leader.