Naveen to look into allegations against law minister

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik today said he would "look into" the allegation against a cabinet minister who allegedly availed two houses from Bhubaneswar Development Authority (BDA) under discretionary quota.

"You are telling me about it now. We will look into it," Patnaik told reporters here. Last week, he had said that he would "certainly examine" if any specific complaint of illegality on discretionary quota comes to the fore.

Law Minister Bikram Keshari Arukh, allegedly got two houses from the BDA, one in the name of his wife Jaylaxmi Arukh at Kalinga Vihar in 2007 and another in his name at Pokhariput in 2009.

In both the cases, Arukh allegedly got houses of 2400 square feet each under discretionary quota of two urban development ministers, sources said. Arukh was not available for comment despite several attempts. While the then urban development minister K V Singhdeo allotted a house in the name of Arukh`s wife in 2007, the present urban development minister Badri Narayan Patra allocated another house in name of the law minister in 2009.

Both Singhdeo and Patra have confirmed about allotting houses in name of the law minister and his wife under discretionary quota. "Arukh had applied for a house claiming that he did not have any land or house in the Bhubaneswar master plan area. Therefore, I allotted a house in his favour according to the law under discretionary quota," Patra told reporters adding that BDA guidelines clearly mentioned that one could avail a house if he did not have any house or land in the state capital area.