Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, July 26:
Senior BJD leader and Odisha Cooperation Minister Dr Damodar Rout today indirectly mocked fellow party leader and Rajya Sabha member Kalpataru Das for claiming that his wife and son, who availed houses and plots under discretionary quota, constitute separate families.
“As per the definition of a family, if a son is a major, married and stays separately, then only it can be considered a separate family unit. If a son stays together with his family and is a part of the family business, the claim of a separate family is not acceptable by the public at large. A son staying separately can be called a separate family, but I wonder how a wife can be called a separate family,” Dr Rout told media persons.
The Minister also said that whoever has violated the law is guilty – be it a member of BJD, BJP or Congress.
Kalpataru and his MLA son Pranab Kumar Balbantaray have landed in trouble after it came to light that they have taken several houses under discretionary allotment. Pranab has got two houses, one in his name and the other in favour of his company, from the Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA).
Opposition Congress and BJP have been harping on the issue in the state Assembly for the last several days, causing serious embarrassment to the government.
Admitting that his wife had also got a plot from the government through discretionary quota in 2001, he said, “Technically, my wife and my son are separate families as both are above 18 years old.”
Rules, however, say that an individual, who has been allotted a house or a plot by the BDA either in his name or in the name of his spouse, automatically becomes ineligible for allotment of a second house or another plot.
Balbantaray took possession of both the houses at Netaji Subhas Enclave at Gadakana here in June 2011.