Tuesday, 20 December, 2011
Daily Pioneer reports
Urban Development Minister Sharada Nayak has come under sharp criticism allegedly for indulging in nameplate politics and targeting Ajit Das, his predecessor and deceased MLA of Rourkela.
BJP MLA Karendra Majhi raised a point of order in the State Assembly alleging that the administration of Rourkela, at the instance of Nayak, has been trying to disrupt the process of installation of a statue of Das by the residents of Chhend at a social home, which was constructed in his MLA LAD fund. Majhi condemned the approach of Nayak for indulging in nasty politics.
Sources said the Rourkela Development Authority (RDA) had served a notice to the Gopabandhu Welfare Trust (GWT), which is in charge of the management of the Gopabandhu Kalyan Mandap, Chhend, to hand over its possession to the RDA.
The RDA alleged that the trust has failed in managing the social home and has been engaged in illegal construction inside it. Significantly, although the GWT has been managing the Kalyan Mandap for about eight years, the RDA stepped in through the said notice for the first time and asked to hand over the possession without giving any show-cause, the sources added.
According to sources, however, respecting the local public desire, the trust management had decided to set up a statue of Utkalmani Gopabandhu Das and Ajit Das in the premises of the social home since Ajit Das had taken a leading role in construction of the social home to fulfil the need of the local people by contributing `13 lakh from his LAD fund and arranging another `10 lakh from the then Rajya Sabha member Dilip Ray’s MP fund.
Sources said installation of statue of Ajit Das was not well received by Nayak, as a result of which in his direction the RDA has served the notice to hand over possession.
Ironically, the notice gave only three days’ time to hand over so that the trust management cannot take the shelter of court. The notice was challenged in the High Court, and a status quo order was granted over the matter by the court, besides serving a notice to the RDA.
Apart from the recent controversy over the Ajit Das statue issue, several other cases have also come to fore wherein the authorities, allegedly at the instance of Nayak, have attempted to remove the nameplates ex-MLAs and ex-MPs from different monuments. It is alleged that even though hundreds of his nameplates and of his other party colleagues have been installed in different small projects in the last seven years, Nayak has not been able tolerate the existence of a few nameplates of leaders of other political parties in the city.
The name of Dilip Ray, which was figuring under the statue of the Biju Patnaik statue at the Sector 2 square, has of late, been disfigured. Similarly, the nameplate Ajit Das under the statue of Madhusudan Das at the Chhend square was thrown out during the shifting of the statue for expansion of road. The statue was relocated and the nameplate of Das was thrown in the waste.