Rejecting opposition Congress and BJP leaders’ demand for his examination by the CBI in the Talabira coal mine allocation case, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik asserted that the court order in the case had nothing to do with him.
“The order from the court is quite clear and it has nothing to do with us,” Patnaik told reporters on his return from Delhi last night. He was replying to a question on the allocation of Talabira coal block to Hindalco.
Special CBI Judge, New Delhi, Bharat Parashar in an observation said he was not at all suggesting that Patnaik acted in pursuance to any criminal conspiracy with Hindalco in writing the letter to the Prime Minister, Patnaik said.
Patnaik had in August, 2005 had written a letter to the then Prime Minister Manmohan Singh recommending Hindalco for the allocation of Talabira coal block.
Opposition Congress and BJP, however, rejected Patnaik’s claim that the court order had nothing to do with him.
“The court gave its order basing on the investigation report of the CBI. The CBI’s report in the matter is not complete unless it examines Odisha Chief Minister who recommended name of Hindalco for the Talabira coal block,” Leader of Opposition in the Odisha Assembly Narasingha Mishra of Congress said on Thursday.
Mishra, a lawyer, however, said: ” I am surprised how come CBI forgot to examine Odisha Chief Minister before submitting report with the court.”
BJP legislature Party leader Basant Panda, however, said: “I feel, the CBI should examine Patnaik on whose recommendation the coal block was allocated to Hindalco.”
Patnaik also denied reports of meeting Prime Minister Narendra Modi during his four-day visit to Delhi. “No, I did not meet the PM during this visit.”
Earlier, the Opposition leader had alleged that Patnaik had a secret meeting with the PM in order to get rid of the CBI probe, both in the coal scam and chit fund scandal.
On his party’s stand on the Land Acquisition Bill, the Chief Minister said, “Our stand about the Bill will be known quite clearly in Parliament.”
During his visit to Delhi, Patnaik met Union Finance Minister, Union Power minister and Union Steel and Mines minister. “We discussed about the uneven allocation of coal mines to non regulated sectors in the state,” he said.
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