Naveen Patnaik washes off hands in land deal

Last Updated: Thursday, November 3, 2011 - 20:40

Bhubaneswar: Amid allegation of misuse of
discretionary quota for allotment of government land to
influential people including judges, Orissa Chief Minister
Naveen Patnaik today sought to wash off his hands and said
specific complaint of illegality would be examined.

Patnaik, also in-charge of General Administration
Department which controls land in the state capital, claimed
that no government land had been allotted to any judge during
his over 11 years tenure as chief minister.

"However, if Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) or
Cuttack Development Authority (CDA) have made any such
allotments under their discretionary quota, those files do not
come to me," Patnaik told reporters replying a question on
alleged misuse of quota by some urban development ministers.

"If specific complaints of illegality come, it will be
examined, he said.

The chief minister also refuted allegation made by
senior BJP leader and former Urban Development Minister, K V
Singhdeo that his father late Biju Patnaik had allotted Lord
Lingaraj`s land in the name of his wife Gyan Patnaik when he
was chief minister in 1961.

"No land has been allotted as far as `Naveen Niwas`
(CM`s parental house) is concerned from any discretionary
quota by any chief minister. Additional land of `Naveen Niwas`
was settled following due process of law," Patnaik said,
adding the additional land was registered in the name of his
mother much before Biju Patnaik became chief minister in 1961.

Patnaik also denied Singhdeo`s charge that the
additional land of `Naveen Niwas` belonged to Lord Lingaraj.

To whether his government would abolish discretionary
quota system, Patnaik said "I am informed there are certain
Supreme Court guidelines in the matter, we`ll look into it."

Earlier, Singhdeo refuted allegation of irregularities
in allotment of land under discretionary quota during his
tenure as urban development minister.

"There was no violation of rules and procedures while
allotting land from the quota. Proper procedures were followed
and there was no deviation from laid down norms," he said,
adding those allotted land from discretionary quota had to pay
the normal price fixed for land without any concession.

Stating that he would welcome any probe into the
matter by an independent agency including CBI, Singhdeo said
"those living in glass houses should not throw stones at
others."

PTI



First Published: Thursday, November 3, 2011 - 20:40

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