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Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: Continuing his tirade against the State government, expelled BJD leader and former minister Damodar Rout today alleged that he was offered a bribe of Rs 1 crore to keep mum on the sapling scam.

Rout made such startling revelation during his first public meeting held at Nrurtanga in Mahanaga after his expulsion from BJD.

“An officer whom I had suspended over corruption charges had offered me Rs 1 crore to remain silent. The bribe was offered by the officer on the instructions of VK Pandian, the private secretary of Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik,” alleged Rout.

Rout further said that he lost his ministerial berth for not accepting the money. Moreover, he also slammed Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik over the latter's lack of interest to learn ‘Odia’ and alleged that the Kunduli gang rape incident was suppressed and bureaucrats and officers are calling the shots.

Rout further targeted Health and Family Welfare Minister Pratap Jena.

“Depsite being a MLA from Mahanga, he (Jena) should behave responsibly. Nobody will tolerate when you act on your whims,” Rout said targeting Jena.

Earlier, Rout had announced that he will reach out to people by organizing several public meetings against the rampant corruption in the state. An anti-corruption meeting will be organized in Nimapara tomorrow, sources said.

Though Dama Rout also hinted about forming a new party based on the ideology and legacy of former CM Late Biju Patnaik, he is yet to divulge any details.

However, Rout claimed that he is in contact with several leaders and soon a decision will be taken.

BJD spokesperson, Sameer Dash on the other hand stated that Damodar Rout’s meetings will not have any impact on the party.

“He (Dama Rout) is speaking a lot and everybody in Odisha is listening. But such statements do not hold any relevance,” said Dash.

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