The Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) Lok Sabha member from Bhubaneswar, Aparajita Sarangi, on Sunday pooh-poohed the “transparent governance” claim by Odisha’s ruling Janata Dal (BJD) and corruption and nepotism had become hallmarks of the present dispensation.
Leading a massive rally at Deras near here to protest against alleged land grab “patronage” by the BJD government, she said the land encroachment at the place by an influential lady spoke volumes about the irregularities committed with the very tacit support of the state government.
Cites Deras land scam
“The Odisha government’s claim of clean and transparent governance is a hollow slogan. It is clearly proved in the present case. Here, the land of poor farmers had been handed over to a powerful non-Odia lady for some obvious reasons,” she said, adding Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was not performing his Raj Dharma.
Ms. Sarangi said more than 150 acres of land were encroached near Deras dam and the irrigation canal lying in the encroached land had been buried. As a result, the farmers of the area were deprived of getting even a drop of water for the last two years, she alleged.
“In the past few months, I had written two letters to the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to unblock encroachment from 150 acres of land near Deras dam. However, I did not get any reply. I believe he might not have read the letters. I also wrote letters to Khurda district administrations in this regard, but didn’t get any reply as well. However, when I wrote letter to the top engineers of the water resources department, the encroachment was removed and the canal was restored,” said Sarangi while addressing a meeting after the rally.
She alleged that a non-Odia lady with the patronage of the state government had grabbed the land.
“We want the demarcation of the 150 acres of the encroached land. The owners of the land should take possession of it,” the lawmaker said.
Stating that some non-Odia officials would put the livelihoods of countless poor people in Odisha, the Lok Sabha MP said the state government always sided with mafia elements.
“The state government is hell-bent on saving an influential Tamil woman (sic) which is not at all acceptable,” observed Sarangi, making an indirect reference to the wife of an influential mining raising contractor.