Congress chief whip in Odisha assembly Tara Prasad Bahinipati today threatened to beat up corrupt officials in CMO involved in the percentage commission (PC) practice. “The third floor (CMO at the state secretariat) is the origin of all kinds of corruption. So the officials there should be taken to task first. As an MLA I will soon enter that floor and launch the anti-PC drive from there. I will beat them (officials) severely,” Bahinipati said in the assembly during zero hour. The Congress lawmaker also said that he was not afraid of being arrested for beating up corrupt officials.
The issue of percentage commission was raised by Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra of Congress who accused the state government of not being sincere in curbing corruption though Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had given a call for it. Citing an instance, Mishra claimed that an engineer in Bolangir district was transferred under pressure from Rajya Sabha BJD MP A U Singhdeo. “Another engineer, against whom a vigilance case had been pending, was posted in Bolangir as per recommendation of Singhdeo. This shows how a corrupt official is being protected,” Mishra said.
BJPLP leader K V Singhdeo also supported Mishra on the issue of posting of a “corrupt” engineer at Bolangir. He also came down heavily on the government over the controversial statement of Agriculture Minister Damodar Rout who had recently said that complete eradication of the ‘PC’ culture was not possible. Singhdeo said, “During the 17 years of the BJD rule, there has been cost escalation of many flyover projects. In many cases, the cost escalation exceeded the original estimation cost. This indicates corrupt practice,” the BJP leader said.
Rout in his reply referred to Singhdeo’s criticism of him and said he had said that complete eradication of corruption is not possible because of human character. “The corruption by babus continues since the British Rule. We may reduce corruption, but not eradicate it completely.” He said the chief minister’s anti-corruption drive has created panic among the corrupt officials in blocks and panchayat levels. “Many people have been taken to task (in rural housing irregularities cases). There has been a huge impact across the state.”
Government chief whip Amar Prasad Satpathy said that the government has no intention of shielding any corrupt element and those who have been caught in corruption cases have been sent to jails.