Claiming that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had done nothing wrong by urging Prime Minister Manmohan Singh to examine Hindalco’s plea for a coal block, an Odisha Minister on Saturday accused the Congress of a ‘disinformation campaign’ against the BJD chief.
“Writing to the Prime Minister on issues is a practice which all Chief Ministers do. There is a disinformation campaign against Patnaik by Congress leaders who cannot tolerate the Odisha government being praised for its effective handling of cyclone Phailin,” Agriculture minister Debi Prasad Mishra told reporters here.
Releasing letters written by Madhya Pradesh Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan in 2007, Punjab Chief Minister Captain Amarinder Singh in 2007, Parkash Singh Badal in 2007 and Union Power Minister Sushilkumar Shinde in 2007, Mr. Mishra claimed that many Chief Ministers and Ministers had made requests to the Prime Minister favouring coal blocks for some company or the other.
“Therefore, we do not think that to support allotment of a coal block to any private industry in the State is wrong,” Mr. Mishra said, alleging that the ‘information’ that the CBI would grill Mr. Patnaik was aimed at tarnishing his image.
Demanding withdrawal of statements made by certain Congress and BJP leaders over the episode, Mr. Mishra said “The BJP must retrospect on its stand as its Chief Minister Raman Singh has also made similar recommendations.”
The Prime Minister’s Office had said there was no wrongdoing in the Hindalco coal block allocation, he said.
Blaming the CBI, BJD MP Pinaki Mishra said, “It is a caged parrot which has been part of the disinformation campaign against Naveen at the instruction of its political masters.”