BJP on Friday termed as "eye-wash" the ongoing probe by police into the multi-crore mining scam in Orissa and demanded CBI enquiry into the matter, which it alleged, could not have taken place without the patronage of the government.
"The entire mining scam should be probed by CBI and if Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and his government are innocent they should welcome it instead of resisting," senior BJP leader Balbir Punj, who led a team to Keonjhar district to survey "illegal" mining, told reporters in Bhubaneswar.
Claiming that illegal mining was taking place in forestland and outside leased areas, he said "a scandal of this magnitude cannot take place without the protection and patronage of the government and blessings of big shots".
Punj said only a few small players have been caught by the crime branch of Orissa police, which had allegedly failed to seize equipment and machinery used in illegal mining and recover the plundered minerals.
"It shows the so called probe by them is simply an eye-wash," he said.
Besides raising the issue in Parliament, BJP would also petition Prime Minister Manmohan Singh seeking effective Central intervention as the scam involves blatant violation of forest and other laws, BJP leader Chandan Mitra said.