<Congress Chief Whip Prasad Harichandan
Congress Chief Whip Prasad Harichandan
Bhubaneswar: Opposition members in the State Assembly on Wednesday, demanded the resignation of Chief Minister and the Health Minister, holding them responsible for the recent hooch tragedy that took a toll of 40 lives in Cuttack and Khurda districts in February, even as the Speaker approved discussion over the adjournment motion notice on Hooch tragedy.

It is noteworthy to mention that the proceedings in the House was stalled for the past two days as the Opposition Congress and BJP created ruckus, demanding an adjournment motion on the liquor tragedy to be taken up, which was disallowed by the Speaker on the plea that debate on the issue would influence the ongoing inquiry by the judicial commission.

However after the approval, the Opposition leaders directly accused the CM and demanded his resignation over the issue. They also demanded to impose IPC Act 302 (Life Imprisonment) against the Health Minister and other officials involved in the issue.

Giving his opinion on the tragedy, Congress Chief Whip Prasad Harichandan, said everybody is aware about the issue but the Government is trying to hide their mistakes over the debacle that has accounted as many as 40 lives.

Harichandan, claimed that the Chief Minister had rejected proposals given by the Excise Department to raise the supply of country spirit used for manufacture of alcohol. As the government failed to meet the market demand, there was adultration.

The Opposition also presented the statistics over the death on the issue in the State during the 12-years rule of the BJD Government and said that at least 100 people succumbed to illicit liquor between 2000 and 2012.

Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh, party member S S Saluja and others also blamed Health Minister Prasanna Acharya as his department failed to check use of methnol for preparation of certain medicines which led to such a tragedy.

Acharya however rejected the allegations by terming it as baseless. He said that the State Government is already probing the matter and trying to stop the flow of illicit liquor.