Family members of a victim, State Excise Minister Singhdeo
Family members of a victim, State Excise Minister Singhdeo
Cuttack: While the death toll in the hooch tragedy in Cuttack-Khurda districts mounted to 33, State Excise Minister Ananga Udaya Singhdeo submitted his resignation to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.

Singhdeo today resigned from the State cabinet owning moral responsibility for the illicit liquor tragedy and submitted his resignation letter to Chief Minister Mr. Naveen Patnaik. After receiving the letter Mr. Patnaik forwarded it to Governer MC Bhandare for his approval. The Excise portfolio will now be dealt by Mr. Patnaik himself.

The Opposition was not still not happy with the resignation of the Excise Minister. They claimed that the resignation of Excise Minister as a publicity stunt before the upcoming elections.

President of the Pradesh Congress Committee, Niranjan Pattanaik said, “The chief minister should also quit. It is Naveen Patnaik who is responsible for the deteriorating law and order situation in the State.”

It is noteworhty to mention that the Opposition parties, including the Congress and BJP, have been demanding resignation of the Chief Minister and Singhdeo holding the BJD Government responsible for the liquor tragedy.

As many as 50 persons who drank the killer brew on Monday night have been undergoing treatment at the SCB medical in Cuttack.

While the death toll was 4 by Tuesday, it had reached 30 by Wednesday, prompting Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to order a judicial probe into the episode.

The hooch tragedy had however provided a perfect ammunition to the Opposition Congress and the BJP to corner the ruling BJD at the time of the panchayat elections. Workers of both the parties on Wednesday held demonstrations and organised road blockades at several places in the State, demanding the resignation of the State Excise Minister.

However the senior police and excise officials on Wednesday had triggered a controversy into case by claiming that overdose of medicine has caused the tragedy.