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Ramakanta Biswas

Bhubaneswar: The State Congress on Sunday alleged that Odisha Commerce and Transport minister Padmanabha Behera had furnished false information regarding his educational qualification in his poll affidavits.

Addressing a presser here today, Congress spokesperson Nishikanta Mishra alleged that the minister filed false information regarding his qualifications in four assembly elections he had contested from 2004 to 2019.

“Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s cabinet colleague and a minister had filed three different affidavits from 2004 to 2019 elections. In his 2014 poll affidavit, the minister mentioned that he is 10th passed while his affidavit during 2019 elections states that he has passed Class VIII. How it is possible,” questioned Mishra.

The Congress leader further said that petitioner named Bhagaban Bagha had moved the Orissa High Court and filed a plea in this regard. On January 9, Orissa High Court while hearing the petition had directed Subarnapur police to file a case in this regard and probe the details about the educational qualification of the minister.

However, even as more than a month has elapsed, no case has been registered in this regard, Mishra alleged questioning, "The public wants to know why despite the High Court's order, the Sonepur superintendent of police (SP) is still not taking any action in this regard."

He demanded that the CM must implement the order of the HC and take steps for filing a criminal case against Padmanabha Behera and dismiss him from his cabinet.

The reactions of the minister as well as Sonepur SP could not be obtained in this regard.

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