14 Orissa ministers quit
Fourteen of the 28 ministers in the J B Patnaik government have resigned owning moral
responsibility for the Congress debacle in the general election in Orissa, according to Deputy Chief Minister
Biswal said the consensus demand in the
Congress Legislature Party meeting on
Thursday night, attended by several
MLAs and ministers, was that all ministers should resign to
give the chief minister a free hand to reshuffle his
cabinet. The decision was arrived at after five hours of debate.
Sixtyeight of the 80 Congress legislators were
present at the meeting, presided over by Chief Minister J B Patnaik. Seven of the 28 ministers were absent.
The deputy chief minister said the decision to resign was first
mooted at the CLP meeting on March
15. It took final shape at Thursday's meeting.
CLP secretary Ganeswar Behera said some ministers
had submitted their resignation
at the CLP meeting itself.
He said the CLP would meet again to discuss the state's grave
Although the MLAs blamed the ministers for the party's electoral
debacle, Patnaik attributed it to the Bharatiya Janata Party-Bharatiya Janata Dal
alliance in the state.
Most MLAs complained the party could not properly counter
corruption charges against the state government.
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