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Monday, June 09, 2014  

Opposition Parties of Orissa demand action

on the basis of Saxena Committee Report

"The main opposition party leaders believe that Saxena Committee report is a blue print of corruptions made during BJD rule. ‘The state government and its officials are caught red handed by the Saxena Committee for giving wrong and manipulated information to the centre and to the people as well. The transparent image of the government has been proved to be an illusion with the remarks made by the committee in the report. Knowing that the Vedanta Project is going to affect the tribal communities largely by displacing thousands of tribal families and their livelihood source ‘Niyamgiri’ would be destroyed for ever, neither the administration nor the concerned departments gave a second thought to pursue the deal with Vedanta Company. Now they are all exposed’, says senior Congress Leader and MLA Santosh Singh Saluja.."

Basudev Mahapatra
   

Since the submission of report by NC Saxena Committee to the union ministry of environment and forest regarding violation laws to make a company start its mining project, there has been strong political reaction from the opposition parties and even the parties that were part of understanding with the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) during last elections.

As the report condemned the government and administration for gross violation of forest and environment laws and provisions of tribal rights, leaders of opposition parties including Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) see it as an acid test for the ruling party and its government.

‘Saxena committee Report has become a danger to the Naveen Patnaik Government by exposing the nexus that worked to violate the forest conservation acts and environment protection laws. And, more than it is the remark placed in the report that the officials and the government as a whole is not to be trusted’, says BJP leader Bijay Mahapatra while commenting on the report.

The main opposition party leaders believe that Saxena Committee report is a blue print of corruptions made during BJD rule. ‘The state government and its officials are caught red handed by the Saxena Committee for giving wrong and manipulated information to the centre and to the people as well. The transparent image of the government has been proved to be an illusion with the remarks made by the committee in the report. Knowing that the Vedanta Project is going to affect the tribal communities largely by displacing thousands of tribal families and their livelihood source ‘Niyamgiri’ would be destroyed for ever, neither the administration nor the concerned departments gave a second thought to pursue the deal with Vedanta Company. Now they are all exposed’, says senior Congress Leader and MLA Santosh Singh Saluja.

Even the communist leaders who were part of the deal with BJD to fight the previous election against Congress and the BJD severely condemned the Naveen Patnaik government terming it anti-people and corporate friendly. ‘Saxena Committee report has exposed the illegal acts of this government and, we want, the central government should take strong action on the basis of the report. Both Vedanta and Posco should be forced to follow the norms of Forest and Environment laws and neither Vedanta nor Posco be allowed to grab an inch of Forest land as the people largely depend on those forests to earn their basic livelihood’, says CPI leader Ramakrushna Panda.

In the opinion of CPM leader Janardan Pati, Saxena Committee report should act as an eye opener for both central and the Orissa state government. ‘We shall never accept what this government is doing in collusion with Vedanta Company. What the Saxena Committee report says in the report are correct. We expect the central Government to work on the report and debar Vedanta from continuing its activities in Niyamgiri forests till it gets a final clearance’, says CPM leader Janardan Pati.

However, refuting to all the allegations made in the Saxena Committee Report, the industry minister of the state of Orissa still says that any action shall be initiated after studying the report only. ‘Every thing is done as per law and the guidelines. We will review the report once we get it and do whatever is required and possible on our part’, says Raghunath Mohanty, Orissa’s Industry Minister.

But CPI leader Ramkrishna Panda clearly sees the government at fault and as an agent of a few corporate houses. ‘The Saxena Committee report is an alert to the Naveen Patnaik Government to decide whether it wants to be the people’s government or the government for the interests of Vedanta, Posco and other corporates’, Says Panda.

As the first political party to react openly, BJP leader and state vice president Ashok Sahu demanded resignation of Naveen Patnaik from the chairs of the Chief Minister and demanded a probe by a retired SC Justice into the violations made by the Naveen Patnaik government.

When the saxena committee has raised political warmth in the state, it has also posed a challenge before the present government led by Naveen Patnaik to keep its transparent image clean from all the scams and blunders that have been alleged against it.

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