Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Taking stern action against Damodar Rout over his casteist remarks, Odisha CM and BJD president Naveen Patnaik today dismissed senior leader and Agriculture minister Damodar Rout from his Council of Ministers.

“I strongly disapprove of anyone who makes derogatory remarks against any caste, creed or religion. I have dismissed Damodar Rout from the council of ministers. A letter has been sent this evening to the Governor to accept this dismissal,” said Naveen.

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Damodar Rout has been in the eye of the storm for his ‘beggar’ remarks on Brahmins at a function in Malkangiri on December 19.

Dama who was reportedly attending a function in his constituency while the decision was announced, said “Whatever happened, happened. Where is the problem in that? I have no qualms.”

After arriving in Bhubaneswar, Dama addressed mediapersons and said, “There is nothing to feel bad about. I was voted to the Legislative Assembly by the people of my constituency to look after their demands. The CM chose me to help him in his administration. After me, the CM will choose someone else. But I will continue to work for my constituency and there is nothing to feel bad about.”

Upon being asked, did the Chief Minister inform him about his dismissal, Damodar Rout said, "He had called me while I was travelling. As the voice was inaudible I told him that I will talk with him after returning to Bhubaneswar."

Following Damodar Rout's dismissal from Council of Ministers, Panchayati Raj Minister Pradeep Maharathy was given additional charge of Agriculture, Fisheries and Animal Resources departments while Finance Minister Shashi Bhusan Behera got additional charge of Public Enterprises department.

Commenting on Dama Rout’s dismissal, Deputy Chairman of the State Planning Board, Bishnu Das said, “There was a delay on the part of the CM to take the decision. However, the people of Odisha will welcome the decision.”