BJD govt protecting land-grabbers: BJP

Bhubaneswar: Accusing the BJD regime in Odisha of shielding land-grabbers including bureaucrats and ruling party leaders, the BJP today claimed that though illegal acquisition of government land worth over Rs 4,000 crore during 2009-15 was detected, no action was taken.

“The government has directed so-called godmen and babas to vacate illegally-acquired land but officers and BJD leaders involved in illegally acquiring thousands of acres of land are being shielded and spared,” senior BJP leader Bijay Mohapatra said at a press conference here.

It was surprising that the Chief Minister was a silent spectator to large-scale illegal land-grabbing allegedly involving officers and ruling BJD leaders, he alleged adding business activities like fisheries were being undertaken on illegally-acquired government land.

Citing a CAG report, the BJP leader said illegal land acquisition to the tune of Rs 3,500 crore took place between 2009 and 2015, but no action had been taken against the land grabbers.

Many leaders of ruling BJD are involved in these irregularities, he claims.

Similarly, government property worth Rs 642.92 crore was grabbed in 58 cases in the General Administration Department which is under the Chief Minister’s charge, Mohapatra claimed, asking the CM to explain as to why he took no action to bring back these land into government fold.

Mounting a scathing attack on the state government, the BJP leader claimed that the state-owned IDCO also gave away government land to different companies.

Even land belonging to Lord Lingaraj had been acquired illegally and clubbed it with Naveen Nivas property, the CM’s residence, Mohapatra claimed.

However, BJD Spokesperson Pratap Keshari Deb refuted the allegations as baseless.