Odisha Congress backs Manmohan, seeks CBI probe into Naveen’s role

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Bhubaneswar: The Odisha unit of the Congress on Tuesday expressed solidarity with former prime minister Manmohan Singh, who was summoned in the coal scam case, and demanded that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik be probed by the CBI in connection with the scam.

Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee president Prasad Harichandan said the party on Tuesday unanimously passed a resolution expressing solidarity with Manmohan Singh.

“Everyone knows that Manmohan Singh is a man of integrity and probity. We express our solidarity with him in the case. We have faith in the judiciary and are confident that the truth will come out at the end,” Harichandan told media persons.

He demanded a probe by the CBI into the role of Patnaik for writing a letter to the prime minister in 2005 favouring the allocation of the Talabira-II coal block to Hindalco.

“The special CBI court has made it clear that the chief minister was persuaded to write the letter in August 2005 favouring Hindalco. It cannot be termed a mere coincidence. So the CBI should also probe the role of the chief minister in the case,” he said.

Describing Patnaik as the “key player” in the Talabira-II coal block allocation, Harichandan also alleged that a deal was struck between the BJP and the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) to bail out each other.

He said the probe into the chit fund scam in Odisha has come to standstill and urged the CBI to probe impartially.

He also condemned the alleged snooping on party vice president Rahul Gandhi.

Refuting the allegations, BJD spokesperson Sameer Dash said the special CBI court has already said that Patnaik has nothing to do with the scam.

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