Ramakanta Biswas

The controversy over the land property of Lord Lingaraj in Bhubaneswar escalated further with the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday launching a massive protest accusing the Odisha government of selling the property of the Lord at throwaway prices.

The members of the party, led by Bhubaneswar district president Babu Singh, strongly opposed the alleged sale of the land measuring 228 decimals near the Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA).     

“This is Ekamra Khetra, the land of Lord Lingaraj. The land property of Lord Lingaraj is spreading over many areas here. But the State government is conspiring and selling the property to mining mafia, contractors at throwaway prices. There are many instances as well as proof of such illegal activities,” Singh alleged.  

“A couple of days back, a land worth Rs 100 crore located just 100-200 metres away from Naveen Niwas, the official residence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, has been handed over to a mining mafia as a donation which has pained all. How can the government sell the property of Lord Lingaraj,” Singh questioned. 

The protestors put up the photos of Lord Lingaraj and bana (flag) on the said land. They also burnt the effigy of BJD Minister Ashok Panda and pledged not to let anyone sell even an inch of land belonging to Lord Lingaraj.

Speaking on the issue, the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) said the Tehsildar and other revenue inspectors have stopped constructions on the land. 

“The Tehsildar and other revenue authorities have stopped construction works on the land. Given that, what conspiracy has the government done? Had the government not wanted, the work would not have stopped,” said BJD MLA Debi Prasad Mishra 

Asked about possible reason why BJP is raising the issue, Mishra said it could be on account of the upcoming Panchayat and Municipal polls. 

Notably, the Khordha district administration and Tehsildar stopped construction works on the Lord Lingaraj’s land near the Biju Patnaik International Airport (BPIA) and put up notices.