I have no role in allotment of land in favour of my son: Patro

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Revenue Minister S N Patro on Monday claimed he was not involved in allotment and cancellation of a plot of government land in favour of his son Biplab.

"I have no role in allotment and subsequent cancellation of the government land in favour of my son," Patro told reporters.

Biplab had obtained about one acre of government land at Unit-8 area for a hotel business.

The allotment was completed within 56 days and the applicant was allowed to pay premium at the institutional rate of Rs 50 lakh per acre against the applicable commercial rate of Rs 75 lakh per acre in eight instalments as per request, the CAG had said in its report.

The minister said, "Biplab has already moved the high court challenging the cancellation and also obtained a stay order.
"He will do whaterver he finds suitable. I have nothing to do in this matter," the minister said replying to questions after the state unit of BJP demanded a white paper on the alleged arbitary allotment of land in the state capital since 1980.

The BJP also questioned why the government did not take possession of the land after cancellation of the lease in favour of Patro's son.
Asked about a white paper, Patro said, "The Genegal Administration Department can do so. I have nothing to do."

Senior BJP leader Manmohan Samal told a press conference here, "The minister should have taken steps to return the land to the government after it is cancelled. But, Patro had not done so. Therefore, the chief minister should sack him."

Samal also held Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik morally resonsible for the arbitary allotment of land in the state capital as mentioned in the recent report of the Comptroller and Auditor General of India (CAG).
"Patnaik also holds the GA department which manages land in the state capital," Samal said.

Though the CAG report did not mention the minister and his son in its recent report, records of the GA department showed that the land was leased out to Biplab.

The CAG had said the land was allotted in gross violation of the government's well-stated land use policy.