Bhubaneswar: Law and Rural Development Minister Bikram Keshari Arukh who has been in controversies for availing two houses under the discretionary quota, voilating the rules of the Urban Development Ministers, finally admits that he has been provided two houses.
Following Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s instructions, Arukh made a sudden appearance in the Secretariat and said that he had not submitted any wrong affidavit for availing the houses and if necessary he would surrender one house as it is not permitted as per law to own two government allotted houses in the capital.
As said by Arukh, his wife was allotted a house in Subudhipur Vihar in Kalinga Vihar area, during the tenure of BJP leader Kanak Vardhan Singh Deo as the Urban Development Minister. She had applied for a house from the BDA in 2007, under the discretionary quota with necessary affidavit and had also deposited Rs 7lakh in the BDA account as an initial deposit. Moreover some more money is yet to be paid.
Adding more he said, after becoming Minister, he had applied for a BDA house in Anant Vihar, Pokhariput, during the tenure of Badri Narayan Patra as the Urban Development Minister and had arranged Rs 59 lakh for this house by obtaining bank loans.
“I have also arranged money from my agricultural incomes and other savings,” he said.
Stating 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, both Singh Deo and Mr. Patra said, Arukh was allotted the house in his favour according to the law under discretionary quota as had applied for a house claiming that he did not have any land or house in the Bhubaneswar master plan area.
However, denying allegations against availing the houses by submitting false affidavit, Arukh said that he would not resign from the Cabinet.