Bhubaneswar: Former minister Damodar Rout today gave explosive and controversial statement over sapling scam in Odisha Assembly today. He said he was removed from the council of minister after he exposed the sapling scam in the State and scamster was rewarded.
Rout, in a written query to Agriculture minister, sought a clarification from the minister on sapling scam. In reply, Agriculture minister gave a written answer stating that irregularities to the tune of Rs 17 crore has taken place in Mayurbhanj district.
Rout, however, refused to buy the statement of the minister and said it is not Rs 17 crore, but Rs 100 crore scam.
Irregularities of Rs 59 crore has taken place in the pre-text of purchasing organic fertilisers. But, the saplings were not planted.
During his tenure as Agriculture minister, he formed a four-member team which investigated the scam. Following the probe report, the officials were suspended, Rout said.
However, he was removed from the council of minister due to action against scam-tainted officers.
Not only Mayurbhanj, but also other districts like Rayagada, Koraput, and Nabarangpur, Sambalpur, and Deogarh also witnessed such scam.
Expressing anguish over inaction of Agriculture department, he said he exposed the scam on his own, but the department did nothing. But, he had to face action ultimately. If this situation continues, God can only save this State.