Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 14:
Senior Congress leader and Union minister Srikant Jena today urged the CBI to probe the mega mining scam in Odisha.
“The polity of the state has not remained unaffected with this evil, which has been nurtured by the present state government over last many years. In view of the pernicious evil effects of illegal mining as reported by the Shah Commission, it is requested that a suo-moto enquiry should be instituted by the CBI into this massive scam so that the truth is brought before the public in a transparent manner”, Jena said in a letter to CBI director Ranjit Sinha.
He said there has been an increasing presence of mafia elements in the mining sector of Odisha under the patronage of the state government for over 10 years, a fact that has been corroborated by the Shah Commission in its report.
Quoting from the report of the Commission, Jena said the enormous multi-state illegal mining of iron ore and manganese ore worth over Rs 59,000 crore has encouraged huge corruption at all levels in public life, mafia in society and money power.
It is not only national loot, but also has deleterious effects on the national economy and society which has to be stopped immediately and effectively.
There is, however, skepticism over Jena’s letter since the CBI can hardly initiate an inquiry into a state matter on its own – a fact that could not been unknown to the Union minister. The timing of the letter suggests that it is intended more as a political tool to beat Naveen Patnaik in the coming polls than as a serious attempt to initiate a CBI inquiry into the mining scam.