Naveen gives clean chit to ministers, opposition walk out | india | Hindustan Times
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Naveen gives clean chit to ministers, opposition walk out

Terming opposition attempt to implicate two ministers in the multi-crore coal scam as "unjustified", Orissa chief minister Naveen Patnaik today said stringent action would be taken against persons found guilty in corruption even as Congress and BJP MLAs walked out of the assembly in protest.

india Updated: Jul 17, 2010 16:08 IST

Terming opposition attempt to implicate two ministers in the multi-crore coal scam as "unjustified", Orissa chief minister Naveen Patnaik on Saturday said stringent action would be taken against persons found guilty in corruption even as Congress and BJP MLAs walked out of the assembly in protest.

"It is unjustified to try and implicate either school and mass education minister Pratap Jena or urban and housing minister Badri Narayan Patra in the vigilance case," Patnaik said in a suo moto statement in the assebly on distribution of coal through Orissa Coperative Consumer Federation (OCCF) and the state owned Orissa Small Industries Corporation (OSIC).

Both Jena and Patra, whose resignations were being demanded by opposition MLAs since four days, had been accused of being part of coal scam. Jena and Patra headed the state owned OSIC before becoming ministers.

The assembly witnessed uproar over the issue for the fourth day in a row and the chief minister read out his statement amidst anti-government slogans by opposition MLAs.

"We walked out of the assembly opposing chief minister's statement under section 214 of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in the Orissa Legislative Assembly," opposition chief whip Prasad Harichandan said.

Section 214 of the rule book prohibited any further discussion on the statement made by the chief minister or any minister. "Making statement under section 214 of the Rule by chief minister ensured that no discussion on coal scam could be made in the house.

Therefore, the opposition had no option but to walk out of the house," he said.