Bhubaneswar: Under attack over a massive blaze at a private hospital in Bhubaneshwar that killed 22 people, Odisha's Health Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak on Friday resigned on moral grounds.
"Mr Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak has sent me his letter of resignation on moral grounds. I have accepted it and sent it to the Governor," Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik told reporters.
Nayak drew flak from different quarters in the aftermath of the devastating fire at SUM Hospital on Monday evening with most opposition parties demanding his resignation.
Attack on Nayak had mounted as serious lapses in fire safety norms and violaton of guidelines were reported at the private hospital, run by Sikshya O Anusandhan Charitable Trust.
Nayak himself for the first time yesterday admitted lapses in the fire safety measures at the hospital.
The hospital was also accused of overlooking a 2013 advisory of the government to improve firefighting apparatus.
Already under attack over a series of incidents involving the health department, the hospital fire compounded Nayak's woes.
Leaders of political parties and others had alleged that violation of fire safety norms at the private medical facility were overlooked as Nayak was "close to" Manoj Ranjan Nayak, founder-President of the charitable trust who was arrested by police yesterday for the tragedy.
Odisha BJP had yesterday lodged a police complaint against the Chief Minister and Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak, naming them as accused in the SUM Hospital fire mishap.
The BJP demanded Patnaik and Nayak be made co-accused in the case.
The party also demanded resignation of Nayak. Congress leaders including Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra had held both the state government and the hospital responsible for the tragedy....