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Naveen Patnaik, Dibya Shankar Mishra   

Opposition Steps Up Pressure On Odisha Chief Minister To Sack Home Minister Over Sex Scandal

For Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik criticisms cutting across parties is getting uglier. Part of the reason for escalating opposition is Patnaik’s continued silence over sex scandal allegation levelled against Minister of State for Home Dibya Shankar Mishra. According to local reports, a school teacher, Mamita Meher of Mahaling Sunshine English medium school in Kalahandi district, was allegedly abducted and murdered by Gobinda Sahu. BJP National spokesperson Aparajita Sarangi alleges the involvement of Mishra in the incident. The minister, she says, was frequently visiting the school and staying in the school at night. According to her, there was a sex scandal going on inside the school campus. Stories linking ministers to sex scandal is not new. People of Odisha remember how Patnaik’s swift sacking of several ministers like Maheswar Mohanty, Debasis Nayak, Manmohon Samal, late Pradeep Maharathy for their involvement in sexual harassment cases won him admiration. But, Patnaik’s cryptic one-line statement in the latest case stating that “Law will take its own course” with regard to Mishra has shocked people. Sources say that all evidence linked to minister Dibya Shankar may have been destroyed by the alleged murderer Gobinda Sahu. So at the moment, the question of damage control to sack the minister does not arise despite pressures mounting from the Congress and BJP.