Odisha: Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy Resigns

**Bhubaneswar:** Agriculture Department minister Pradeep Maharathy resigned from the State Cabinet on Sunday. Maharathy was in the eye of storm after giving a controversial statement on the court verdict on Pipili gang rape case.

Briefing mediapersons after his resignation, Maharathy said, “I am a loyal worker of BJD and have been elected as MLA for six times in the last 35 years. I have respect for the Chief Minister and BJD. I willingly resigned from my post as the party may face no problem because of me.”

The BJP and Congress had launched protests against Maharathy, who stated that ‘truth has prevailed’ after a Bhubaneswar court acquitted the prime accused and his brother in the Pipili case.

Maharathy, sources said, was not in the good books of BJD leadership after the senior minister hailed the court’s decision.

On Saturday, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had said that the State Government is following the Bebina (Pipili gang rape and murder case of 2011) case “very forcefully”.