Bhubaneswar: As expected, the Monsoon session of the Odisha Assembly began on a stormy note and had to be adjourned by the speaker following ruckus over Mahanadi and Polavarm issues.
The uproar started as soon as the proceedings began with ruling MLAs shouting slogans against Centre and Chhattisgarh over Mahanadi water dispute even during the recitation of national anthem.
Unable to run, Speaker Niranjan Pujari adjourned the House till 3 pm.
Opposition Congress termed it is a disregard to the national anthem. Leader of Opposition alleged that it was a conspiracy of ruling party to thwart the assembly transaction on the first day.
“The BJD MLAs have shown disrespect to the national anthem at the behest of their party chief and chief minister Naveen Patnaik, who was present in the House during the incident. He has breached constitutional guidelines. I think ruling party legislators, chief minister and Speaker had earlier hatched a plan unitedly to foil the business today. So, Speaker allowed them to create pandemonium and rejected our motion to cancel question hour and discussion on Mahanadi issue. The Speaker is unable to run the House impartially. Therefore, it can be said that Odisha Assembly is functioning at the whim of ruling party and not as per the constitutional guidelines”, Leader of Opposition Narasingh Mishra. The entire episode is pre-planned, he added.
“It is a rare incident in the history of democracy that ruling party members did not allow recitation of national anthem in the House. It clearly shows that how much BJD is frustrated now. This is grossly unfortunate”, Congress MLA Naba Das said.
“People of Odisha should spit on those who have not learned how to give respect to national anthem. People should hate them”, Opposition chief whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati said. He added the BJD is enacting a drama over Mahanadi and Polavaram. It does not want a discussion on these issue and solution, Bahinipati pointed out.
Even as the proceedings resumed at 3PM there was no improvement in the situation as BJD members were seen shouting slogans over Mahanadi and Polavaram issues forcing the speaker to adjourn the house for the day.
Meanwhile, the ruling BJD came out with an apology for creating ruckus in the house during the recital of the national anthem.
“It was not right. Because the issues at hand are adversely affecting the interest of the State, somebody has been sentimental but, we don’t want that thing. We have no intention of disrespecting the national anthem. We appologise for what has happened,” said BJD spokesperson Sameer Das.