Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik added a new weapon to his ongoing war against corruption today by declaring that annual property statements of all public servants right from the sarpanch to MLAs, MPs & CM as well as government employees at all levels up to the chief secretary will be made public and submitted to the Lokayukta.

Odisha will be the first state in India to take such drastic measures to curb corruption and show the way to other states , said the CM.

Addressing the State Council meeting of the BJD, the CM said the fight against poverty, disease, injustice, natural calamity or regional disparities will be worthless if we do not ensure transparency and eradicate corruption.

Corruption is the enemy of development, he stated. He noted that Odisha had pioneered the country by the establishment of a Special Court for the trial of corruption cases and the confiscation of the assets of those involved in corruption. In the last 1 year, we have fired 91 corrupt officers, he said.

Proposals submitted by state council members suggesting reservation of seats in medical and engineering colleges for students of government schools, backward class survey to help achieve social justice and measures towards empowerment for women were approved by the CM. He entrusted the BJD organizing secretary Pranab Das with the task of coordinating with concerned Ministers and departments in the government to facilitate adoption of and implementation of the proposals.

The CM however seemed to dilute his regional parties versus national parties stand taken a couple of days ago by clarifying today that he had spoken about the role of a regional party in a language based state and about security of our unique identity.

The CM quoted Mahatma Gandhi’s famous talisman “Whenever you are in doubt or when the self becomes too much with you apply the following test. Recall the face of the poorest and the weakest man / woman whom you may have seen and ask yourself if, the step you contemplated is going to be of any use to him / her”. Several state council members put in their suggestions for the party and the government. The members also delivered speeches lauding the CM and the achievements of the government . One of them referred to the Pradip Panigrahi ( BJD MLA who was expelled from the party for his corruption and arrested ) case and said the party must have a vigilance cell to monitor and ensure that such instances do not recur.