Law minister Arukh must quit: Opposition

Bhubaneswar: A day after the law minister Bikram Keshari Arukh admitted of availing two houses from Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) under the discretionary quota, opposition Congress and BJP today demanded resignation of the minister.

"This is highly immoral on the part of a law minister to acquire two BDA houses under discretionary quota. The Chief Minister must take action in this regard," Orissa Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) president Niranjan Patnaik said.

The state BJP vice-president and party spokesman Ashok Sahu demanded immediate resignation of the law minister. "He has to return the house acquired under discretionary quota and resign," Sahu told reporters.

Arukh, a minister for the first time and in charge of Law and Rural Development department hails from Chief Minister`s Ganjam district. The Chief Minister had earlier said he was Looking into "the allegation made against the law minister".

Avoiding a question on his possible resignation in the wake of the controversy, Arukh said that he would abide by the chief minister`s direction. "As the chief minister is looking into the matter, I will go by his words," he said after offering to surrender one of the houses been allotted under the discretionary quota.

Arukh had been allotted two houses by BDA, one at Kalinga Vihar in the name of his wife Jaylaxmi Arukh in 2007 and another in his name at Pokhariput area in 2009. "I have not taken posession over any of the houses," the minister had said.

The minister also claimed that he did not indulge in any act of illegality as there was no provision of informing BDA on whether he had owned a house in Bhubaneswar Master Plan area before applying for a house at Pokhariput.