Naveen Patnaiks resignation demanded

Bhubaneswar: Demanding CBI probe into the alleged horse-trading during last year`s Rajya Sabha polls in Orissa, a senior Congress leader on Sunday demanded resignation of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik over the issue.

"Congress wants CBI to investigate the allegation of horse trading during Rajya Sabha polls held in June, 2010 as nobody has faith in state agencies like vigilance wing," Narasingh Mishra told reporters here.

At the same time, being the head of the ruling BJD Naveen Patnaik should step down as chief minister, he said adding that two ministers who had been accused of bribing a Congress MLA to ensure victory of a BJD candidate must have done so to "carry out the order of their master."

The matter came to light after a local TV channel released an audio tape claiming conversation of a BJD minister, Pushpendra Singh Deo, with a mediator to influence Congress MLA Shivaji Majhi. Energy Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak got embroiled in the controversy as his name figured in the conversation of Pushpendra Singh Deo many times.

Earlier Pushpendra Singh Deo had said that his voice was concocted and doctored in the audio tape and expressed his readiness to face any probe.
Energy Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak had said that it was a ploy to mislead people as panchayat elections would be held next year.

It may be recalled that the Congress leader abstained from voting for the Rajya Sabha election held on June 17 last year. The absence of the two Congress legislators, Shivaji Majhi and Gregory Minz, had fuelled speculations of a possible horse-trading at that time. The other legislator who was absent included Bhimsen Choudhury (BJP).