MAC: Mines and Communities

British-based Vedanta last week chalked up its first profits since its launch on the London Stock E

Published by MAC on 2004-11-21

British-based Vedanta last week chalked up its first profits since its launch on the London Stock Exchange in December 2003. Backed by Barclays Capital, Deutsche Bank and ABN-AMRO, it is about to launch a "road show" to boost its prospects. Yet there has been a deafening silence from the UK press over allegations that the company is illegally proceeding with its Orissa bauxite-alumina project, and has expanded its Tuticorin smelter in defiance of the country's Supreme Court. Not so in India, where the ruling Congress party is outraged at the activities of the company and its political ally, Orissa's Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik.

Congress demand resignation of Orissa CM on chromite issue

The Hindu

November 21 2004

Bhubaneswar - The opposition today demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik following quashing of the agreement between state-owned IDCOL and private sector Jindal Strips Ltd for a joint venture mining project in Dhenkanal districtby a court.

The court's decision to quash the agreement while pointing out that the state could not afford to sacrifice its legitimate interest and that of the people was "historic" and exposed the government action, Congress leader Srikant Jena said in a statement here.

Stating that the Chief Minister had asked the opposition to go to the court when it pointed fingers at the JV agreement signed between the state-owned Orissa Mining Corporation (OMC) and Vedanta Alumina Ltd recently, Jena said the court had already nullified Patnaik's assertion that all his decisions were "transparent'.

'After the court verdict, Patnaik has lost the moral authority to remain in power and should resign. Criminal cases should be instituted against all government and IDCOL officials responsible for the agreement", he demanded.

"If the Chief Minister does not quit, we will seek the sanction of the Governor to initiate legal action against him", the former Union minister said.

OGP Chief Bijay Mohapatra said though the Chief Minister had tried to "hoodwink the people of the state with his cultivated innocence", the truth was finally out.

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