WB health project scam; Routray demands CBI Probe

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Bhubaneswar,Jan 25 (UNI) Former Orissa Health Minister Bijayashree Routray accused of receiving bribe in the World Bank funded health project, today denied his involvement and demanded a CBI probe into the incident.

Alleging that there has been a deep rooted conspiracy by the power brokers to finish him politically, Mr Routray today challenged the state government to order a CBI probe and investigate the role of all politicians and officers associated with the World Bank project since its inception in 2000.

Talking to newspersons at his residence here, the former Minister also a ruling BJD MLA from Basudebpur, said if the state government failed to order a CBI inquiry, he would move the Court to protect his dignity and honour.

Mr Routray, who has been named by state Chief Secretary Ajit Tripathy for receiving bribe, said he had carefully examined the World Bank report and nowhere it had mentioned the name of the firm alleged to have bribed and the details of the project for which the payment was made.

The report also clearly stated that the observation could not be used for purpose of any investigation or inquiry as it was not an investigative report.

Moreover, when the state government had ordered a judicial inquiry into the scam, it was premature on the part of the state Chief Secretary to implicate him in the case when the investigation was inconclusive, the former Health Minister said.

Mr Routray, quoting the contents of the World Bank report, said three firms had alleged that they had paid 20 per cent bribe for supplying the equipment during September 2003, January 2004 and April 2004 and during these days he was not holding the Health portfolio.

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