Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, Aug 19:
Reiterating his demand for a CBI inquiry into the land allotment scam involving politicians and bureaucrats in Odisha, senior BJP leader Bijay Mohapatra today launched a scathing attack on chief minister Naveen Patnaik for remaining a mute spectator and not taking any action against his party leaders, who have fraudulently grabbed houses and lands in the twin city.
“You (the chief minister) remained silent in chit fund scam and now in the land scam. While your opposition to CBI probe in chit fund scam did not succeed, the land scam will also meet with the same fate. So, don’t create a drama by forming a taskforce. Instead, hand over the case to CBI to unearth the whole truth,” said Mohapatra at a press conference here.
Questioning the chief minister’s’mysterious silence’ over the involvement his party colleagues in the land scam, he said while the Accountant General mentioned party leaders including ministers by name in his report, Naveen Patnaik refused to take any action both as BJD president and as chief minister.
“Why have you remained silent so far ? You constituted a taskforce to inquire into the matter. But as we all know the taskforce is only meant to cover up the entire scandal, nothing more. Since you (Naveen) head the GA department, which has allocated land to politicians and others by showing favouritism, you are the accused. How could an accused form a taskforce and sit in judgement?” asked the senior BJP leader.
Stating that the AG report has blurred the self-proclaimed clean image of Patnaik, he said the chief minister tried to suppress the report from March 2012 and did not comply with many queries or supply information despite repeated reminders from the audit agency .
“The AG had sought certain files from BDA and GA departments. But, it is yet to give the details despite repeated reminders, which is very rare in Odisha’s history. AG is a constitutional body and his observations have to be complied with. But, your government is yet to give the records even after the CAG requested you to personally intervene in the matter. It proves that you want to suppress the entire matter to protect the land mafias,” Mohapatra alleged.
Mocking at the return of houses and plots by ruling party leaders after being caught for possessing more than one house under the discretionary quota, he said while the land and plots should go for public auction, the government has been acting too kind by simply asking them to return these as if the houses were given away as gifts.
“It is quite possible that the government may one day flee to Delhi after leasing out the state secretariat, ” he remarked sarcastically when asked to react to a news item in Sambad that 100 acres of land has been grabbed by a BJD Rajya Sabha member and a minister on the outskirts of Bhubaneswar.