CBI may question Odisha CM Naveen Patnaik

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Naveen Patnaik. Photo: Shailendra Pandey
Naveen Patnaik. Photo: Shailendra Pandey

New Delhi, Oct 17 (PTI) CBI could question Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in connection with alleged irregularities in allocation of coal blocks to Hindalco as he had written a letter to the Coal Ministry after the application of the Aditya Birla company was rejected in 2005.

CBI sources said as its officials were scrutinising the documents they found a letter written by Patnaik requesting for a relook and reverse rejection of Hindalco’s application for Talabira II block in Odisha.

While CBI said no final decision has been taken as to who all would be questioned, sources said the Chief Minister would be questioned only if need was felt to seek his views on the reasons for recommending coal blocks to Hindalco.

CBI sources also said 46-year-old Kumar Mangalam Birla, chairman of Aditya Birla Group, had written a letter to the Prime Minister’s Office which had forwarded the letter to the Coal Ministry.

CBI has alleged in its FIR after rejection of Hindalco’s plea in 2005, that Birla wrote two letters and held a “personal meeting” with the then Coal Secretary P C Parakh, after which a decision was reversed and Hindalco was given the block which was earlier meant for two Public Sector Undertakings – Mahanadi Coal Fields and Neyveli Lignite.

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