• In Odisha, senior BJD leader and Agriculture Minister, Pradeep Moharathi, resigned this morning from the Naveen Patnaik Cabinet following his alleged involvement in the gang rape of a 19-year-old dalit girl case in Pipli of Puri district.
  • Moharathi tendered his resignation paper to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at Bhubaneswar. After resigning from the Cabinet, Moharathi said, he had resigned on moral grounds, for the interest of BJD and dignity of his constituency Pipli. He welcomed all kinds of probe into the alleged gang rape incident.
  • The Odisha Chief Minister was under tremendous pressure from opposition political parties, women organisations, social activists and students for his own resignation, ouster of Moharathi and a CBI probe into the incident. The state government has already given crime branch and judicial inquiry into the gang rape case. 
  • Meanwhile, opposition Congress and BJP have demanded resignation of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who holds the home portfolio, on moral grounds and for his failure to give protection of women. 
  • They alleged Naveen Patnaik has made Moharathi a 'scapegoat' to hide his failures and protect himself. They threatened to continue state-wide agitation until Chief Minister resigns.