Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: After creating a flutter with his back-to-back allegations of scams and irregularities in the BJD-led government, senior BJD leader Damodar Rout on Wednesday went soft on the Odisha government to the extent of saying, ‘Naveen Babu is a good human being and he has no fault in these irregularities.’

In what seemed an attempt to mend the damage done by him over the past few days, Rout today said that he never uttered a single word against Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, rather he targeted the leaders and officers involved in corruption.

"I have only raised voice against corruption but never targeted the party or the State government. Officers in the State are not doing their work seriously and getting involved in irregularities. Corrupt people need to be exposed and I am doing the same,"  said Rout.

The ex-minister further said that CM Naveen is a good human being, a writer and an artist with a clean image and has greater exposure as compared to his counterparts in the country.

"There is no fault of the CM, rather the people around him are involved in corruption but no one is exposing them out of fear. I have never spoken a single word against Naveen Patnaik,"  he clarified.

If anything goes against the interest of the people, it needs to be exposed. It is the duty of the Opposition in a State to 'oppose to expose' but they are doing nothing, the BJD stalwart added.

Moreover, Rout once again raised the alleged sapling scam issue lamenting that he was removed from the ministry for suspending a corrupt official and ironically the same officer was later reinstated.

In response to Rout's sapling scam allegations, Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy today said if the State Assembly Speaker directs him, he will furnish reply and order an investigation as per Rout's allegations.