ORISSA OPPOSITION TAKES A TOLL; REVENUE MINISTER RESIGNS

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Orissa Opposition has taken a toll of many a Ministers of Navin Patnaik’s Government, the latest being Revenue Minister Manmohan Samal. Orissa has been saved from the agonizing embarrassment over the Minister’s alleged sex escapades exposed last month.

Samal’s party BJP lost its face in protecting him. But to repair the loss, after Samal resigned, its members today organized a demonstration at Orissa’s spiritual capital Puri in protest against the black spot the Minister painted on the saffron and in a bid to show that all saffronists are not sex maniacs, burnt down the effigy of Samal with utmost contempt that they could have displayed.

The current phase of incumbency of Navin Patnaik is so much soiled with scandals that succumbing to Opposition pressure he has witnessed 11 of his cabinet colleagues quit their berths, nine of his own party BJD and two of his coalition partner BJP. They are M/s Balabhadra Majhi, Bijayashree Rautray, Bishnu Das, Damodar Raut, Debashish Nayak, Kalandi Behera, Nagendra Pradhan, Rabi Nanda and Ms. Pramila Mallik (all BJD) and Mr. Manmohan samal and mr.Pradipta Nayak (both BJP). Ms. Pramila Mallik and Mr. Pradipta Nayak have been reinducted in different circumstances.

Over and above these members of his cabinet, the BJD stalwart Maheswar Mohanty had to quit the Speaker post under Opposition pressure.

When Rabi Nanda had to go as his bid to purchase legislators’ silence over excise malpractice was exposed on records by Congress member Lalatendu Bidyadhar Mohapatra, the Chief Minister’s blue-eyed boy Debashish Nayak , BJP’s Manmohan Samal and Speaker Maheswar Mohanty had to quit under charges of sex escapades.

No Ministry in Orissa so far was so infested with so many scandals.

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