Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, July 31:
Giving in to pressure from various quarters, including opposition and his own party men, Pranab Kumar Balabantaray, MLA son of BJD MP Kalpataru Das, today returned one of the houses allotted to him under the discretionary quota to the Odisha government.
“I have returned a house to the BDA and have informed the chief minister and the BDA vice chairman about this. I took the decision to keep intact the clean image of the party,” the Dharmasala MLA told media persons here.
He has returned one flat -E 09 – that he had got under discretionary quota in Netaji Subash Enclave in Bhubaneswar.
Balbantaray had taken possession of both the houses at Netaji Subhas Enclave at Gadakana here in June 2011.
Kalpataru’s wife too had got a plot under the discretionary quota in Bhuaneswar.
While Opposition Congress and BJP legislators had raised the issue in the Assembly, senior BJD leaders Damodar Rout, Ananta Das, Kalindi Behera, Debasish Samantray and Ashok Panda had criticised Kalpataru for having several houses and plots violating the law. They had alleged it had tarnished the image of party as well as the chief minister.
Even as Balabantaray returned the house under pressure from various quarters, Housing and Urban Development Minister Puspendra Singhdeo’s laconic statement on the issue has surprised many.
“If there are any illegalities, we will be taking appropriate steps after going through the matter,” said the Minister.