NAVEEN IS UNABLE TO DEFEND HIS MINISTERS
Opponents are raising the curtain. More Ministers of Orissa are being exposed as having acted against democracy. They have told deliberate lies in the guise of telling the truth under oath. Allegations against them are so convincing that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is unable to defend his ministers.
Higher Education Minister Samir De and Works Minister A.U.Singhdeo comprise the latest list of members of Naveen’s cabinet who are alleged to have filed false Affidavits while submitting nomination papers for Assembly elections. Pradipta K. Naik, who was Naven’s Labor Minister has already resigned from the Cabinet after a judicial court took cognizance of similar false Affidavits.
Deputy Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra has alleged that A.U.Singhdeo has not given correct facts about his properties in the Affidavit. Sighdeo having refuted the allegations Mishra has asserted that he has proof of the former’s property records on the basis of which he has raised the allegations.
On the other hand, De has personal knowledge of ongoing prosecutions against him. But he has suppressed this fact in the Affidavit while filing nomination papers. He knew that he was being prosecuted under section 32 of Police Act in U. I. case No. 27 of 1994. As far back as on September 01, 1995 he was enlarged on P. R. Bond. But his subsequent non-cooperation with the Court had led to issuance of non-bailable warrants against him. This having surfaced, he had to stay away from the Assembly session consequent upon a ruling of the Speaker that debarred members under non-bailable warrants from attending the Assembly. Inability to attend the Assembly was very embarrassing for the Minister as well as for his party, the Bharatiya Janata Party. Therefore he had to surrender before the JMFC, Cuttack on 04 Aug. 04. Though in 1995 he was released on P. R. Bond, this time, because of his habitual non-cooperation with adjudication, he was subjected to Rs.5000.00 worth bail bond and production of a bailer, to get bail. This being the position, his Affidavit informing that there is no case pending against him is a clear instance of untruth. His party colleague P.K.Naik has already resigned after a prosecution case was filed against him by the Returning Officer for suppression of facts in the Affidavit. De, therefore, is guilty of equal offence.
Naveen Patnaik has said that in such a situation the Election Commission should take a decision. But in view of precedence established over P.K.Naik, should not he take steps to save the State from continuing under Ministers, who for personal gain, abuse the ethics of election by filing false Affidavits?