Mines renewal: Oppn slams government

Bhubaneswar: Odisha government’s recent supplementary agreements with mines lease holders to resume operation at a time when the Supreme Court is yet to hear their cases, has drawn flak from the Opposition parties.

Criticising the ruling BJD government for such a ‘hurriedly’ step, Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) chief Prasad Harichandan said, “When the Central Empowered Committee (CEC) has recommended to cancel lease of these mines after finding irregularities, what drives the State government to sign agreements with them?”

“Is there any vested interest of the Naveen-government,” asked Harichandan.

Senior BJP leader Basant Panda said, “When we were demanding a CBI probe into the chit fund scam in Odisha, the State government citing it ‘subjudice’, didn’t show interest in it. And now, when the apex court has taken up the mining case and the matter will be heard within a couple of days, why it is showing so much of interest to sign a deal with the lessees?”

However, Odisha Steel and Mines minister has said that the State government would abide the apex court ruling on the matter.