Statesman News Service
BHUBANESWAR, April 29: The BJP’s Orissa unit suffered a jolt today with the labour minister Pradipta Nayak being forced to resign from the ministry today after a case was lodged against him for having provided a false declaration while filing his nomination papers in the last Assembly election.
Two party veterans who felt ignored – former deputy Speaker of the Assembly Mr Ramachandra Panda and former minister Mr Arabinda Dhali also resigned from the party to join the ranks of Miss Uma Bharati.
The BJP state unit tried to salvage some ground by claiming that Mr Nayak had tendered his resignation on moral grounds and that there was no pressure from the chief minister.
Mr Nayak claimed that he was not aware of the criminal cases pending against him and hence had, in his declaration during filing of nomination papers, stated that there was no case at all. He said the cases related to demonstrations in Kalahandi, his home district. The chief electoral officer had directed the Kalahandi district returning officer to file cases against Mr Nayak after the election office had received complaints regarding his false declaration.