Both Congress and BJD have brought the union Petroleum Minister Dharmendra Pradhan under fire after a report by NDTV that the travel expenses of the minster had been borne by the Vyapam accused Sudhir Sharma in 2013. At the same time, all the allegations have been refuted by the Minister. He went on to deny links with Sharma and stated that his bills had been looked after by the party and that he had no idea about the person handling the booking of tickets. The minister stated that he was absolutely clean and it was all a conspiracy against him.
Sudhir Sharma’s IT return of 2013 confirmed that he had indeed paid Pradhan’s air tickets. Sharma was arrested in 2014 and later jailed.
Pradhan’s resignation has been sought by the Congress party and they have also demanded a CBI probe in the matter. Similar demands have been brought up by the BJD. The party has reiterated that Pradhan must step down so that the scandal can get the fair probe it needs.