'Naveen Patnaik protecting the corrupt' | india | Hindustan Times
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'Naveen Patnaik protecting the corrupt'

Corruption watchdog Transparency International India on Thursday accused Orissa chief minister Naveen Patnaik of protecting the corrupt and not acting against tainted officials despite a public outcry.

india Updated: Nov 03, 2011 15:45 IST

Corruption watchdog Transparency International India on Thursday accused Orissa chief minister Naveen Patnaik of protecting the corrupt and not acting against tainted officials despite a public outcry.

The statement by the group comes a day after the state government opened a dispensary in the confiscated house of a tainted former Indian Administrative Service Officer (IAS) in state capital Bhubaneswar.

Reacting to the chief minister's statements that his government was punishing the corrupt, Biswajit Mohanty, a board member of the watchdog, said such claims were hypocritical.

"This claim is totally hypocritical since numerous scams have been bedeviling the state during his tenure of 11 years. They include multi-crore scams like pulses scam, mining scam, port scam and coal scam," he told IANS.

Transparency International has lodged several complaints with the chief minister with specific allegations of wrongdoing, favouritism and lack of transparency in award of major contracts, but he has yet to order a single enquiry, he said.

He also accused Patnaik of not sanctioning prosecution against some senior officials despite requests by the state's vigilance police, even though government guidelines state that such sanctions are supposed to be given within a period of two months.

"Some cases are pending for more than five years now and the accused officers continue to enjoy prized postings in critical government departments having budgets of more than Rs 2,000 crore," he said.