Accusing Odisha government of misleading the Supreme Court on the plan for bauxite mining for Vedanta at Niyamgiri, Congress demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik as nine gram sabhas had rejected the proposal.
"Rejection of mining proposal on Niyamgiri by all the nine gram sabhas held so far in Rayagada and Kalahandi districts clearly proves that the Naveen Patnaik government has all along been misleading all on the issue," senior Congress leader and Union Minister Srikanta Jena told reporters here.
Patnaik and his BJD government not only was untruthful to the Centre and the people, but also misled the Supreme Court about the bauxite mining proposal for Vedanta's alumina refinery at Lanjigarh in Kalahandi district, he said.
The BJD government had been propagating that the people of Niyamgiri area were in favour of mining, but were exposed as 9 of the 12 gram sabhas held so far rejected it, said Jena, the Union Planning, Programme Implementation and Statistics minister.
The Chief Minister should not only tender an unconditional apology to give undue favour to the industry but also step down from office forthwith, Jena said.
He and other Congress leaders maintained that the remaining three gram sabhas to be held would also reject the proposal for bauxite mining.
Jena's demand came a day after Congress leaders at rally held in Bhawanipatna yesterday congratulated Dangaria Kandha tribes of Kalahandi and Rayagada districts for their united stand against bauxite mining on Niyamgiri.
Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee President Jaydev Jena, who addressed the press conference during the day, said training programmes would be organised at Berhampur, Cuttack and Sambalpur where party workers would make people aware of the contribution of the Centre for the development of the state.