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Home > News > Report

Soren effect: Another Orissa minister under fire

Giridhar Gopal in Bhubaneswar | July 26, 2004 20:44 IST
Last Updated: July 26, 2004 22:29 IST

Another Orissa minister is now under firewith the opposition Congress demanding her resignation over her involvement in a dowry-torture case.

With the resignation of state women and child development minister Pramilla Mallik over a criminal case on Monday, the Congress has now aimed its guns on Cooperation Minister Surama Padhi.

Padhi, a former president of the Rashtriya Mahila Morcha of the Bharatiya Janata Party, has been accused of torturing her brother's wife for dowry.

Padhi's brother, Rajanikanta Padhi, married Manjula Guru, daughter of a retired Indian Administrative Service officer, in 1984.

Manjula's father, Upendra Guru, lodged a complaint at a Bhubaneswar police station on October 17, 1993 that his daughter was being tortured by her in-laws for dowry.

A case under sections 498, 406 and 34 of the Indian Penal Code was lodged and Surama, her husband, and some other members of the family were arrested on January 16, 1994.

All of them are now out on bail.

With the BJP and its National Democratic Alliance partners making a big hue and cry over the arrest warrant issued against Shibu Soren, the Surama case is coming handy for the Congress in Orissa.

"While the Bharatiya Janata Party is claiming to be clean and has forced Union minister Shibu Soren to resign because an arrest warrant is pending against him, how come they did not check Padhi's record before she was made a minister?" senior Congress leader Narasimha Mishra asked.

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