The BJP leader alleges CM's involvement in ‘illegal land acquisition' for Vedanta University

Senior Bharatiya Janata Party leader Bijoy Mohapatra on Saturday demanded prosecution of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik alleging his involvement in the illegal land acquisition for the proposed Vedanta University near Puri.

At a press conference here, Mr. Mohapatra said that he along with the activists of the Vedanta Vishwavidyalay Birodhi Sangharsh Samiti, an organisation of those whose land had been acquired for the university project, would soon meet Governor Murlidhar Chandrakant Bhandare to urge him initiate necessary steps for Mr. Patnaik's prosecution.

Talking about the recent High Court order quashing all the proceedings for land acquisition for the non-existing university and order the Lok Pal of the State earlier this year, Mr. Mohapatra demanded that the entire land scam be investigated by the Central Bureau of Investigation.

Mr. Mohapatra also urged the Governor not to accord his assent to the Vedanta University Bill that was passed by the State Assembly in July last year.

Plea on bill

The Governor should return the bill to the State government as it had now become clear from the High Court order that several laws were violated to acquire land for Anil Agarwal Foundation that proposed to set up the Vedanta University, he said.

The High Court order had proved right the allegations that the laws were violated at all levels in order to show undue favours to the Foundation which was a private company.

Stating that such blatant violation of the laws cannot be done without the instructions of the Chief Minister, Mr. Mohapatra said the fraudulent land deal should be investigated by the CBI.

He also blamed the Chief Minister for not tabling the Lok Pal order in the State Assembly, and not forming a Committee to look into the role of different officials in the land acquisition which was done in violation of various rules.

Umaballav Rath, former legislator and advisor to the Vedanta Vishwavidyalay Birodhi Sangharsh Samiti, said that their agitation will continue till the land acquired for the university project was returned to the original land owners and the Sri Jagannath temple.

Mr. Rath, who was one of the petitioners before the High Court, said that the Samiti was also contemplating to take necessary action seeking prosecution of both political executives and government employees who were party to the illegal land acquisition.

“Whoever was party to the illegal land acquisition as well as the office-bearers of the Foundation who committed the fraud should be brought to book,” Mr. Rath said.

  • CBI probe sought into the land scam
  • Naveen criticised for not tabling Lok Pal order in the Assembly