BHUBANESWAR: BJP MP Aparajita Sarangi on Saturday blasted the Bhubaneswar Municipal Corporation (BMC) for exercising power beyond its authority by illegally sealing her office-cum-residence at Palashpalli on alleged violation of Covid guidelines.
“The sealing of my office-cum-residence for 15 days amounts to forcible dispossession from my legally held possession. This has been done with a malicious intent and in clear violation of the provisions of law,” Sarangi told mediapersons after BMC officials removed the seal and allowed her to function after a week.
She said her office was illegally sealed and the civic body has taken action against her in the wake of video clippings in circulation without verifying the fact.
“The order to seal my office was made on the basis of a purported video clipping, which does not prove that the congregation in my office-cum-residence was in violation of existing norms. The sealing was done without giving me an opportunity of being heard,” she said in a letter to the Municipal Commissioner.
The BJP lawmaker further said neither she nor any of her well-wishers in the video have been detected with Covid or its symptoms since the date of the incident on October 8.
The supporters seen in the video were allowed entry only after observance of the Covid protocols and after going through a sanitising chamber which is placed at the entrance of the office, she added.
Sarangi, who also served as former BMC Commissioner during her tenure in Odisha, claimed that the October 1 order of the Government on which the civic body took action was in violation of the September 30 order issued by Ministry of Home Affairs (MHA).
“I have checked the penal provisions under the Disaster Management Act, Epidemic Act, Section 188 of IPC. Neither the Act nor any regulations made under this Act empower BMC to seal a private office-cum-residence for 15 days,” she said.
Sarangi cautioned the BMC Commissioner that she has every right to claim adequate compensation from the civic body for such excessive use of authority beyond its jurisdiction, initiate defamation and such other suitable legal proceeding.
Interestingly, before Sarangi addressed the media, the BMC sent in its officers with an order to de-seal her office. The order was dated October 16 but the MP’s staff said it was handed out only on Saturday.