BJD: Shah panel’s report has not hit its popularity

Bhubaneswar: Buoyed by landslide victory in the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation elections, a senior BJD minister today rejected opposition Congress’ demand for Naveen Patnaik’s resignation following the Shah Commission’s report on the mining scam.

“The people of the state capital have proved that they have absolute faith and trust in Patnaik. They have generously voted for the ruling party despite Congress holding a 12-hour hartal a day before polling,” Urban Development minister Debi Prasad Mishra, told reporters here.

“The people have given a befitting reply,” Mishra, the BJD General Secretary said.

Mishra claimed that the government had taken steps against illegal mining much before Shah panel’s report came to the fore.

“While the Shah panel has recommended recovery of Rs 60,000 crore fine from mines owners, the state government had already imposed penalty of Rs 67,000 crore on them,” Mishra said.

“Patnaik should not be blamed for the the loot of minerals,” he said.

Stating that the Congress should know the minds of voters, he said that 49 BJD candidates were elected, while the Congress won in two which was less than the five it received in 2008.

BJD president Naveen Patnaik, on his part said, “I would like to thank the people of Bhubaneswar for having voted so generously for the Biju Janata Dal and to the party workers for having worked so hard. And, we will continue the good work for Bhubaneswar.”

Countering him, OPCC president Jaydev Jena alleged “I do not accept the poll outcome because of the flow of money and liquor in the elections.”

Meanwhile, state BJP president K V Singhdeo said that the BMC poll outcome would not impact the Lok Sabha elections next year.

“We will certainly perform well in the polls,” he added.