Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, July 28:
The opposition BJP on Monday demanded clarification from Odisha Government over reports that five MPs of the ruling BJD had allegedly used the private plane of a “tainted” mining contractor for their trip to Delhi in June this year.
Raising the issue during the ‘Zero hour’ in the Odisha Assembly, BJP MLA Pradeep Purohit alleged that the five MPs used the private plane of a mining company to travel to Delhi from Bhubaneswar. The five are Pinaki Mishra, Ramchandra Hansda, Siddhant Mohapatra, Ladukishore Swain, and Hemendra Singh.
The mining contractor’s role in the violation of mining rules was being investigated by the state Vigilance, he said, adding, Odisha had suffered a loss of about Rs 1,000 crore due to the illegal activities of the tainted company.
“I demand a statement from the state government in the matter and the state Vigilance should also probe into the relationship between the five BJD MPs and the mining contractor,” Purohit said.
The MPs should also come under the purview of the vigilance probe for their alleged links with the contractor, he added.
However, one of the MPs Ladukeswar Swain has denied the allegations and claimed he was not aware that he had travelled in the plane belonging to a private mining contractor to visit Delhi.
Odia newspaper Nirbhaya on Monday carried a report claiming it had information that five BJD MPs had allegedly used the private aircraft owned by Thriveni Earthmovers to reach Delhi on June 2 to join the delegation of BJD MPs which met with Prime Minister Modi under the leadership of chief minister Naveen Patnaik on that day.
Apart from naming the five BJD MPs, the report also said that the same aircraft had allegedly landed in Bhubaneswar on June 1 with BJD MP Pinaki Mishra, Prabhakaran, the chief of a private mining company Thriveni Earth Movers, A Subramanian, Jivan Yadav, S. Venkateswaran and Ramesh Nagrajan on board.
The next day the aircraft had allegedly carried the five BJD MPs to Delhi, the report said.