Cong to hit the streets on April 26 to press for Dasburma’s ouster

Bhubaneswar: In the wake of the CBI notice to Food minister Sanjay Dasburma seeking details of Pajero vehicles owned by him, the State Congress today decided to take to the streets on April 26 while reiterating its demand for the minister’s resignation.

The decision was taken at a high level meeting chaired by PCC president Prasad Harichandan. Senior leaders Lalatendu Bidyadhar Mohapatra, Srikant Jena and others attended the meet.

“We have decided to stage a demonstration against the minister. He (Dasburma) has lost the moral right to remain in office. He should step down immediately from his post without which the ongoing CBI investigation into the mega chit fund scam would be affected,” Harichandan said.

Sarat Patnaik, former PCC chief, said, “People’s movement will be launched against the Chief Minister’s move to protect leaders involved in the chit-fund scam.”

Senior Congress leader Lalatendu Bidyadhar Mohapatra, who had brought the issue to the fore through the media, said he had raised questions about the identity of the person mentioned in the confessional statement.

Reacting to the Congress move to launch an agitation, BJD said it is always ready to face any protest.

“It is their constitutional right to hold demonstration on any issue. Let them do it. People have trust on us and we are well prepared to counter their demonstration”, BJD spokesperson Sashi Bhushan Behera said.

Amar Satpathy, BJD spokesperson, said, “The party is definitely with the leaders who are in the ministry.”

He further stated, “Congress does not have any other option apart from roaming on roads.”

The Congress and BJP have been demanding Dasburma’s resignation since the central probe agency investigating the mega scam in State issued a notice to the young minister on April 4. Even BJD MP Bhartruhari Mehatab on Sunday appeared to agree with the Opposition demand for his resignation on moral grounds.

Notably, Dasburma did not appear personally before the CBI following the April 4 notice, but a team of lawyers, representing him, submitted documents related to his vehicles on April 8.

The lawyers submitted relevant documents pertaining to the vehicles in question to the Investigating Officer (IO) of CBI for compliance of Section 91 of the Cr PC. Interestingly, Dasburma had sent an office executive, Gouranga Sahoo, to the CBI office on Wednesday to submit the documents but the CBI did not accept the same.