Odisha Jan Morcha (OJM) leader Jagneswar Babu here on Sunday alleged that Naveen Patnaik led government was trying to shut down Bijayananda Self-help Sugar Mill (BSSM) to settle political score.

“BSSM was on the path of recovery and it was matter of few years during which all outstanding loans could have been paid.

But the government in its attempt to establish that corruption has taken place in sugar mill operation is destroying a vibrant industry,” Mr. Babu said addressing a press conference.

He said Poni Sugars, a private company, had started the sugar mill in 1993-94 in Bolangir district.

The total loan outstanding on the sugar mill had reached Rs.104 crore in 1999.

In 2003, the mill was revived after being registered in Odisha Cooperative Societies Acts 1962.

“Now due to association of my family members, the Naveen Patnaik government has got vindictive and started interfering.

Thousands of sugarcane farmers were depending on the sugar mill.

Now due to the politics of worst of its kind, the farmers are going to be loser,” Mr. Babu said adding over 10,000 sugarcane farmers depend on functioning of the sugar mill

He said total loan from secured and unsecured sources over the sugar mill was Rs. 42 crore whereas National Sugar Institute, a Government of India institute, had done the valuation of the factory at Rs. 46.29 crore.

“It means the revival of the sugar mill was a profit-making venture. The government had been spreading misinformation for past few months,” alleged the OJM leader.

It is to be noted that Mr. Babu, who had disassociated himself from BJD and joined OJM led by dissident Pyari Mohan Mohapatra, was arrested on charges of siphoning off fund concerning to sugar mill.