Many Sreesanths, Jijus and Chandilas in Odisha mining: Niranjan

Bhubaneswar: While the Board of Control for Cricket in India (BCCI) is already reeling under a credibility crisis following the recent exposure of an IPL betting racket, the state well felt the Sunday heat after former Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) chief Niranjan Patnaik hinted a similar “nexus” in the state mining scam.

Patnaik who in a media statement called for an urgent need to expose the “political-bureaucratic-business” nexus in the mining scam, demanded a CBI probe into the scam.

“There are many Sreesanths, Jijus and Chandilas in Odisha mining and they need to be booked immediately. It’s an ugly nexus,” Patnaik said.

Taking a dig at the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD), the former OPCC chief said the Naveen Patnaik-led government was turning a blind eye to the mining scam in Odisha which was on the lines of Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh.

“The mining mafia continues to fund political parties and have naturally received political protection. They will utilize more of this money in the next election unless they are stopped by a thorough CBI investigation as has happened in Andhra Pradesh and Karnataka. I see a threat to democracy from such huge amount of slush money,” he averred.

Patnaik lambasted the state government saying the scam which was investigated by State vigilance was systematically covered-up and white-washed.

The former MLA also highlighted the rampant illegal mining in the state and pointed out the need to differentiate between three different types of illegalities and fix accountability for them separately.

“Firstly, lease holders mining beyond approved mining plan and mining beyond jurisdiction. Secondly, mining from non-leased area, this means pure theft from virtually anywhere without the state earning any revenue. Thirdly, relinquished area or areas leased, but not being mined. Most of these mines belong to state-run OMC and Tata Steel,” said Patnaik.