Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
A scam of at least 125 crores of Rupees. And the scam was committed on monetary subsidy granted from the public exchequer to small and marginal sector dependents on coal energy. And the scam was committed when two political dogs loyal to Chief Minister Navin Patnaik were heading the state owned Orissa Small Industries Corporation (OSIC). And the said loyal dogs are now ministers in the cabinet of the same Navin Patnaik. They are Urban Development Minister Badrinarayan Patra and School and Mass Education Minister Pratap Jena. The State Vigilance police have unearthed the scam. And ruling party heavyweight Kalpataru Das has revealed that on 2 February 2008 he had in writing informed the Government that the scam is going on in OSIC and had confronted the then chief thereof Badrinarayan Patra with his allegation.
Intense investigation may unearth more volume of scam. But that is not going to happen as the vigilance police belonging to the portfolio under the CM is no brave to further advance as, in its investigation course, it has already stumbled upon the two ministers.
Opposition wants instant removal of these two ministers so that the stymie on further penetration of vigilance into the scam may be removed.
Chief Minister Navin Ptnaik is not willing to drop these two fellows from his council of ministers.
Patnaik, assertive of change he has ushered into style of administration, has not changed the practice of putting public sector undertakings under control of political dogs of the ruling party. With them in control, corrupt bureaucracy shall have no control over the PSUs and hence they shall run in desired line of success, he has been maintaining. So, how can he say now that the scam was committed without his two colleagues being involved therewith? Had he any respect for political probity, the two ministers could never have continued till date to take the toll of two precious days of the Assembly.
The Assembly failed to proceed on its scheduled track on July 15 as on July 14, save making a farce of passage of the supply department budget in the last phase of recommencement of business that precariously managed to put the legislative time at a total of 41 minutes consumed all over the day in three phases.
Massive majority under the command of the treasury benches may force the opposition demand fall into deaf ears of the moment, but this should pave the way for the right-thinking citizens to demand that the PSUs be saved from being chaired and controlled by political dogs.