‘Patnaik should take responsibility for fire mishap’

New Delhi/Bhubaneswar, Oct 22 (IANS) Union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan on Saturday said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik should take moral responsibility for the SUM Hospitals fire mishap that claimed 26 lives.

Pradhan’s comments came a day after Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak resigned from the post of Health Minister over the fire tragedy.

“Both the Health and Home department are equally responsible for the incident. The Fire Services department, which is under the Home department, has failed to discharge its responsibility properly. The Chief Minister himself holds the Home Department and he is answerable for the mishap,” said Pradhan at a press conference in the national capital.

“Why is the Chief Minister yet to take moral responsibility and give his clarification to the people of Odisha? He should own moral responsibility as a Home minister,” Pradhan said.

He said this issue is neither about one hospital nor one building.

“Reports in media are questioning the status of several other building including government ones. What proactive steps have been taken to ensure the safety of people in the buildings?” asked Pradhan.

However, Biju Janata Dal (BJD) spokesperson Pratap Deb said Pradhan’s demand is politically motivated.

“If the Chief Minister should resign on the hospital issue, then Defence Minister should have resigned for the Uri attack as the terrorists sneaked into the army camp,” said Deb.