Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Assembly on Friday witnessed an uproar following Speaker Niranajan Pujari’s refusal to allow a motion moved by Congress members demanding a debate on Odia as the official language.
Congress members stormed into the well of the House and shouted slogans when the Speaker refused permission to discuss the motion. BJP members also stood near their seats in support of the Congress demand.
Unable to run the House, the Speaker adjourned the House till 3 pm.
Naba Kishore Das, Congress MLA, said, “The government does not have any interest to develop the Odia language. We wanted that Odia should be declared as the public language, not only official language, on the occasion of Madhu Babu Jayanti.”
He added, “Activities report of departments is not presented in Odia in the Assembly whereas other states across the country are using their language as official one.”
Das further alleged, “The ruling party does not want Odia as official language, which is why the Speaker rejected the motion.”
Das added, “In 1985, during the JB Patnaik’s tenure as chief minister, Odia language was used at the HC registry. Later, Patnaik made it clear he would not see a file if it was not written in Odia.
Das mentioned, “People will understand government programmes better, if the policy is written in Odia.”
Refuting the charges, Capt Dibya Shanakar Mishra, BJD spokesperson, said, “Congress is directionless and their main problem is they do not know what to present. They are unnecessarily creating ruckus pressing for on adjournment motion.”
He satirically stated, “Do Congress and BJP exist to save Odia language? BJD got classical status for the language.”
Mishra added, “In the Assembly, bills are tabled in Odia only. Even Kosali is getting recognition as a regional language during the BJD government. We are interested to spread and develop the language.”