Politics heats up over Naveen Patnaik’s CBI probe

BJP seeks reply from CM over role in coal block allocation.

Bhubaneswar: Odisha politics has heated up with information coming to fore that Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was interrogated by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) on November 25, 2017, in connection with a coal block allocation case. The opposition BJP has sought a reply on this from the CM.

According to ANI, a petition was filed in the Supreme Court on Monday, seeking expediting the CBI investigation in a coal block allocation case in which an inquiry was pending against Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik.

As per the petition filed by one Vaibhav Verma, MS Central collieries Co Ltd & Ors (Nagpur) was awarded the Takli-Jena-Bellora coalfield in Maharashtra in 1998, even before its registration. Naveen Patnaik was the then Union minister of mines thus making his role questionable.

The CBI has already interrogated Naveen on the issue and thus, there’s no reason to delay the case, the plea said, adding: “Naveen Patnaik has already been interrogated by the CBI on November 25, 2017. That after interrogation of Mr Patnaik, there is no reason for delay; however as evident, again there is a delay of almost two years since his interrogation and the CBI is yet to complete its investigation and has failed to take any concrete steps despite the fact that Supreme Court is monitoring the coal block cases.” The case was registered on March 26, 2014, and the CBI investigation into the allocation of captive coalfields was part of Supreme Court-monitored probe between 1993 and 2010. The allegations in the case are those of forgery, criminal breach of trust and selling of coal in the open market against the concept of captive allocation of coal mines for a specified end-use product, stated the application.

BJD MP Pinaki Mishra said the case was an old one it had no merit.

“The case has no merit at all. Some people are deliberately dragging CM Naveen Patnaik’s name for political gains. They will be frustrated as their move will yield no results,” said Mr Mishra.

BJP leader and Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan questioned Pinaki Mishra defending the CM.

“Let the investigating agency file its charge sheet in the court. Everything will be clear once the apex court takes up the matter for hearing,” said Mr Pradhan.

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