Koraput: Odisha Congress Sunday threatened a statewide agitation if the Rafale fighter jet deal was not probed by a Joint Parliamentary Committee (JPC) while claiming that the state, particularly Koraput district, had lost heavily because of the “scam.”
Addressing the media here, Pradesh Congress Committee (PCC) president Niranjan Patnaik said there should be no fear in constituting a JPC to probe the deal if there were are no anomalies in it. He accused the BJP-led NDA government at the Centre of orchestrating the scam.
Patnaik was accompanied at the press conference by Jeypore MLA Tara Prasad Bahinipati, former MP Pradeep Majhi, DCC president Minakshi Bahinipati, Dabugaon MLA Bhujabal Majhi and Satya Prakash Nayak.
The OPCC President said that many people from Odisha would lose employment opportunities due to the deal.
“As many as 30,000 youths from Koraput district would have been employed directly or indirectly had there not been a scam of such a magnitude”, he claimed.
He also blamed the state government for being silent on the issue and accused it of playing with the lives of young people in the state through false campaigns like “Mu Hero Mu Odisha”. “There is a BJD-BJP nexus on many issues which was proved by the recent activities of the party”, he said.
Pradeep Majhi said that both the state and the country would lose a combined sum of Rs 3000 crore as the Rafale jet deal was procured by Reliance. He reiterated that Koraput district would be the biggest loser in the scam.
Tara Prasad Bahinipati stated that Hindustan Aeronautics Ltd (HAL) was the sole manufacturer of war jets in the country and generated a lot of job opportunities especially in Odisha. Yet, the central government has hired a private company to manufacture these jets which shows that there must be a hair in the soup, he added.
HAL has its engine and Sukhoi divisions at Sunabeda in Koraput district.
Nayak said that the central government had committed a critical error by giving the contract to Reliance, which has not even manufactured a cycle, instead of giving it to HAL, which has manufactured war jets like Mig and Sukhoi. The BJP government has cheated more than a 1000 youths by giving the contract to Reliance, he said.