BJP criticises Odisha Govt for Cancellation of Allotments under DQ

Bhubaneswar, Dec 19: The Odisha BJP hit out at the state government for its decision to cancel all the allotted plots and flats under the discretionary quota (DQ) since January 1, 1995, terming the decision as "illegal" and taken in "haste".

Addressing a press conference on Friday here, BJP leader Bijay Mohapatra said that Odisha government did not act against the land scam, which is a bigger than the irregularities under the discretionary quota.

The state government's decision was taken "in haste" ahead of the visit of Amit Shah, BJP's president, who is scheduled to be in the state on January 5 and 6, he said.

"I feel the government is scared of the forthcoming visit of the BJP's president to the state and the party's programmes", Mohapatra said today at the party office.

Expressing his surprise over the procedures to approve the Task Force recommendation, he said that the report was not discussed by the Cabinet Ministers and decision is highly confusing.

"The government has neither studied the Supreme Court decision in the Satish Sharma case or the decision of the Odisha High Court in a similar case. I have absolutely no doubt that the decision taken by the cabinet is not going to stand the scrutiny of the court.  In other words, the government has taken yet another illegal decision," he said.

He said that the decision is intended to deceive the people of Odisha. "Neither the state government nor the Chief Minister made any statement on the issue in the last 4 to 5 months. The statements that others have made were essentially an attempt to protect themselves and cannot be taken as the statement of the government," he pointed out.

Criticising the chief minister Naveen Patnaik, the senior BJP leader said that the report submitted by the Task Force panel to the government was not made public.

"The Tara Dutt Committee was formed by the government to inquire into the irregularities. But the report was not made public. The right course would have been to lodge FIRs against those who are at fault based on the report. But instead of doing that, the government has said that the vigilance will be conducting an inquiry into the matter. Where is the need for another inquiry when it has already been inquired by the Task Force?" he asked.

The statement came a day after the Cabinet meeting chaired by Naveen Patnaik decided to cancel all the allotments of plots and houses under DQ made since Jan 1, 1995. The decision was taken on the basis of the recommendation of the panel headed by IAS officer Tara Dutt.

However, the ruling BJD in its defence slammed Mohapatra saying, he is not entitled to decide whether the decision would stand the scrutiny of the court or not. It is the court that will take a final call on the issue. Mohapatra is not a member of the Cabinet and he did not know what was discussed at the meeting yesterday, said BJD spokesperson Pratap Keshari Deb.

Another BJD leader Samir Ranjan Dash questioned the BJP to clarify its stand on its two members Samir Dey and Kanak Vardhan Singhdeo, during their tenure as the Urban Development minister too many plots and houses were allotted to people under the discretionary quota.

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