Congress and BJP seek Naveen Patnaik''s resignation over scam

Bhubaneswar, Feb 5 (PTI) Terming the resignation ofOrissa''s Women and Child Development minister Pramila Malikover multi-crore dal scam as "inadequate", opposition Congressand BJP today demanded that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik toostep down forthwith for the irregularities.

"Malik''s resignation is just the beginning. Many headswill roll for irregularities committed in purchase of dal formid-day meal (MDM) and supplimentary nutrition programme(SNP), BJP state president Jual Oram said.

Since the Chief Minister''s office was fully aware ofthe multi-crore scam which occurred in violation of courtdirectives, Patnaik should step down forthwith and WCDminister''s resignation is not enough, he said.

Stating that the role of the Chief Minister in thescam falls under suspicion, Oram said action should notstop with Malik''s resignation as many others would be exposedif investigation is conducted sincerely.

Senior BJP leader Bijoy Mohapatra said WCD minister''sresignation was not enough and criminal cases must beregistered against those responsible for giving sub-standardand adulterated dal to children and pregnant women.

Expressing similar views, state Congress workingpresident L B Mohapatra said people at every level startingfrom district officials to Chief Minister were responsible forthe scam and "none of them should be allowed to go scotfree."

Both Mohapatra and another PCC working presidentChandrakher Sahu demanded that a CBI probe be ordered into thedal scam as the state Vigilance department would be unable toconduct its probe independently and impartially.

Naveen Patnaik should quit office immediately asirregularities had taken place in the purchase of dal withfull knowledge of the Chief Minister''s office, state Congressvice-president Shivanand Ray said.

Threatening to stage a silent rally outside Raj Bhavanhere on February 7 to press for action against all involved inpulses scam, the Congress leaders said the party would launcha state-wide agitation if the chief minister fails to resign.

Meanwhile, Congress activists in Mallik''s homedistrict of Jajpur staged a demonstration demanding her arrestand criminal proceedings for feeding children and womenspurious and poor quality dal.

CPI and CPI-M in the district sought a CBI probe intothe dal scam.

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