Oppo leader JB Patnaik demands apology from Chief Minister

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Bhubaneswar, Jul 5 (UNI) A day after Ratha Yatra mishap in Puri that killed six people and 16 injured, the blame game politics started in Orissa as opposition leaders demanded criminal proceeding against Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik holding him responsible for mishap.

Opposition leader and Congress chief J B Patnaik today blamed the government for yesterday's stampede and demanded an apology from the Chief Minister to the people saying the administrative failure had led to chaos and subsequent stampede.

State Nationalistic Congress Party (NCP) president Bijay Mohapatra said the accident occurred due to negligence of the administration and the state got a bad name in the national level.

Mr Mohpatra said all persons who were responsible for the tragic incident should be prosecuted. He demanded that criminal cases be filed against the Chief Minister, who also holds the home portfolio, Law Minister, Home Secretary, DGP and host of other officials.

The NCP leader said the incident was bound to happen as security arrangement was faulty because most of the senior policemen were busy in protecting the VIPs leaving the huge crowd unprotective.

Mr Mohapatra said for incompetency of the government, the state exchequer should not be taxed and ex-gratia pronounced by the chief minister to the families of the deceased be paid from salary of ministers and officers responsible for the incident.

Mr Naveen Patnaik had announced a compensation of Rs 1 lakh to the kins of decesed and ordered an administrative inquiry into the incident by the Member Board of Revenue.

Condemning the incident J B Patnaik said how could such thing happen in the presence of securitymen under the nose of Chief Minister and high officials.

UNI BD PC RN1756

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