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Odisha Politics: BJD, Congress fight ‘Coalgate War’

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TNI Bureau: Following statement of Prime Minister Manmohan Singh in the Parliament, where he named Odisha as one of the major coal-bearing states, the BJD and Congress have indulged in a ‘Coalgate War’ in the state.

While Odisha PCC President has accused Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik of adopting a double standard over coal scandal, he claimed that the state government had strongly recommended allotment of coal blocks to private companies and opposed allocation through auction.

PCC President Niranjan Patnaik also intimated about their plan for a gherao of the state Assembly edifice on September 6 and demanded Naveen’s resignation on moral grounds.

On the other hand, the ruling BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik reacted to the allegations of the PCC president that CAG has castigated the Centre and not his government.

However, yesterday’s development has put Naveen Patnaik in a tight spot, while strengthening the Congress’ claims and allegations further. A leading TV channel, quoting Naveen Patnaik’s letter on June 22, 2002, has claimed that he had favoured Jindal Steel and Power Ltd for coal block allocation.

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