Rajendra Prasad Mohapatra

Demolition activities were carried out at former BJD MLA and the party’s organisational secretary Pranab Prakash Das’ government quarter in Bhubaneswar on Tuesday.

As per reports, Das, an influential leader in BJD, reportedly constructed a four-storey building including an underground floor at his official residence. More than 20 labourers were engaged in the demolition work by locking the quarters from outside and nobody was allowed inside it. 

The government quarters was allotted to Das; and as per official reports, Rs 9 lakh was spent for its renovation. However, it is claimed that more than Rs 9 crore was spent on the renovation and interior design of the quarter. Das allegedly used three quarters illegally and converted them into one.

After the BJP formed the government, when the process of handing over the government quarters started, the demolition activity was initiated.

As per the allegations, on the first floor of the building, BJD meetings were held during the time of election and on the second floor, Das was having a luxurious lifestyle. Similarly, various stuffs of the party were kept on the third floor of the building.

Meanwhile, responding to the allegations, BJD's organisational secretary Pranab Prakash Das said that government quarters are returned in the same condition in which they are allotted.

“As I was the organisational secretary of the party, many of our party leaders and workers were coming to meet me. So, to accommodate them, a temporary extension was built in the official residence (which is now being removed),” said Das.

Was Naveen Patnaik not aware?

“He was holding a meeting with mafias there in the heart of the city. Was Naveen Babu not aware of this? He must be aware of all these things. The ‘Rangashala’, which is being pulled down, was a mute spectator of many irregularities and the blackest day of the Biju Janata Dal,” said Anil Kumar Biswal, BJP spokesperson.

“If you are demolishing the government’s house, a case will be registered against you, even if you are the king of any empire. Criminal and misappropriation cases can be registered,” said Sahadev Sahoo, former Chief Secretary. 

“As per the government data, Rs 9 lakh might have been spent. But in reality, much more than that has been spent. From where did that money come from? For what purpose that money was being used? The answers to these questions should come out. The new government should let the people know for what purpose the house was being used,” said senior journalist Sandeep Sahu.

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