Minister has no authority to put Cabinet decision on hold: Odisha BJP leader Bijoy Mohapatra

Bhubaneswar: Former Minister and senior BJP leader Bijoy Mohapatra today said a minister does not have the authority to put the decision of the Cabinet on hold.

Mohapatra said this while commenting on the statement of Revenue Minister Sudam Marndi that the Odisha Cabinet’s approval to a proposal allowing the tribals to sell their land to non-tribals has been withheld.

“The decision to put a proposed Amendment to Regulation-2 of 1956 regarding the transfer of tribals’ land on hold is a welcome step. But, a minister has no authority to change or alter the decision of the Cabinet. As per the Rules of the Business, the Cabinet only can change its decision on any issue,” Mohapatra said.

In order to allow transfer of tribal land to non-tribals, the state Cabinet headed by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had recently approved a proposal to amend the Regulation-2, 1956 or the Orissa Scheduled Areas Transfer of Immovable Property (by Scheduled Tribes) Regulation, 1956.

The Cabinet decision had invited severe criticism from Opposition parties and social activists. They alleged that any amendment to the Regulation-2, 1956 will allow the non-tribals to garb the tribals’ land. The main Opposition BJP had threatened to launch an agitation over the issue.

Subsequently, the Revenue Minister announced that the proposal to amend Regulation-2, 1956 regarding the transfer of tribals’ land, discussed in the state Cabinet on November 14, has been withheld.

Reacting to Morapatra’s comments on the issue, Biju Janata Dal (BJD) leader and Barachana MLA Amar Prasad Satpathy said the Cabinet has the authority to reconsider its decision on any issue. “There were several instances when the Cabinet reconsidered its decisions of various issues. However, no individual has the authority to change the Cabinet decision,” he added.

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