BJP leader demands CBI probe into cancelled MoU

Bhubaneswar: Claiming that Odisha Mining Corporation (OMC) recently cancelled its joint venture with a Delhi-based company as it involved irregularities, senior BJP leader Bijay Mohapatra on Sunday asked Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to recommend a CBI probe into punish the culprits.

“I had earlier pointed out that the very decision of the state government to enter into a joint venture with Sainik Mining and Allied Services in allocating a coal block was influenced by corrupt considerations,” Mohapatra said in a letter to the chief minister.

Stating that Patnaik’s reaction ripped open the case, he said the chief minister first rubbished the allegation as baseless but subsequently the state government cancelled the joint venture, exposing its stand.

In 2003, the central government had given “in principle consent” to Odisha Government for permitting OMC to do coal mining in Utkal D Coal Block at Talcher in Angul district, Mohapatra said.

Much before the formal letter was received by OMC on December 29, 2003 the state government entered into MOU with Sainik, Mohapatra said claiming the MOU was not only illegal but was arrived by consideration of corruption.

Though the Central government in December 2009 directed Odisha government to cancel the MOU with Sainki following direction of the Supreme Court, the state government “deliberately ignored it and did not cancel the illegal and motivated joint venture,” he claimed.

Interestingly, two days back the state government decided to cancel the joint venture, Mohapatra said adding “the aforesaid decision was taken by you (Patnaik) with a fond hope that you would be saved from the CBI.”

Stating that if the chief minister is innocent, as he often claims, he would have no difficulty to recommend CBI investigation into the matter, Mohaptra said “I, therefore, demand that you as soon as possible give your consent for CBI enquiry.”