Bhubaneswar, Dec 22 (PTI) Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today removed Agriculture Minister Damodar Rout from his ministry in the wake of his “derogatory” remarks against the Brahmin community.
“I strongly disapprove of anyone who makes derogatory remarks against any caste, creed or religion. I have dismissed Dr (Damodar) Rout from the Council of Ministers,” Patnaik told reporters here.
Rout is also the Biju Janata Dal vice-president.
Patnaik said, “A letter has been sent to the Hon’ble Governor in the evening to accept this dismissal.”
Rout was not immediately available for comment as he was away in his constituency.
The removal of the minister followed state-wide protests by Brahmins against the “derogatory” and controversial remarks he had made about the community at a function in Malkangiri on December 17.
The veteran leader, who represents Paradip in the Assembly, said that “while no tribal is seen begging in any part of the state, one can spot Brahmins resorting to begging in places such as bus stands”.
The remarks of the 75-year-old leader triggered sharp reaction across the state and members of the Brahmin community were up in arms demanding his immediate removal from the Council of Ministers and unconditional apology from him.