Sanjeev Kumar Patro

News Highlights

  • The twist is, unlike 2019, the Opposition this year alleges involvement of a ruling party minister vis-a-vis alleged involvement of a BJD functionary (Sarpanch) then.

The unusual weather report of November this year tells how thunderous will be the coming session of the Odisha assembly. In the battle of nerves, the Chair will be having arduous days ahead when parties across the spectrum will try to play the first chair.

Even as the Odisha Speaker Surjya Narayan Patro brings in today the resolution passed during the recently concluded 82nd All India Presiding Officers Conference (AIPOC) as a 'shield' to maintain the house order, as seen across the world, the 'inevitable' disorder in House generally happens before and just after the question hour.

82nd AIPOC

As per the recently concluded AIPOC, which was held under the chairmanship of Lok Sabha Speaker Om Birla, a significant resolution has been passed that stated there should be no disruption during the Presidential address and the motion of thanks on it.

“In order to bring an end to the increasing tendency of indiscipline, disruption and uproar in the legislatures, we will hold discussions with the leaders of all political parties so that the House proceedings can be conducted smoothly,” Speaker Om Birla had then observed.

At the same time, the Lok Sabha Speaker had also maintained that a definite plan of action needs to be undertaken, whereby, the number of meetings needs to be increased so as to provide maximum time and opportunities to legislators to take up a good discussion on grave matters of a State.

In pursuance of the resolution, Odisha Speaker today said the resolution will be placed for discussion in the all-party meeting on Nov 29.

2019 Encore With A Twist?

History seems to be repeating this November. On the first day of the 2019 Winter session, both BJP and Congress had given adjournment notices on the mysterious death of lady PEO Smitarani Biswal.

Flashback: On Oct 16, 2019, lady Panchayat Extension Officer (PEO) Smitarani Biswal had gone to Haridaspur to disburse old age pension to the beneficiaries. After disbursing pension in Bhadanga village, she went to the private guesthouse of Haridaspur Sarpanch's (belonging to BJD )husband Rupesh Bhadra in Baligari. Later, she was found dead in a bedroom in the guest house. Police termed it a case of suicide and ruled out the 'rape and murder' charge of the Opposition. The lady PEO's father then had expressed serious reservations over Police's suicide theory.

When the Chair didn't allow the adjournment notices of the Opposition, din ruled the House then.

2021 Winter Session: The clock has turned full circle. The ruling party this time has been hit by the sensational murder of young lady school teacher Mamita Meher in Kalahandi. Here the main accused was arrested following his admission to the crime before the police. But the Opposition is baying for the MoS (Home) Dibya Shankar Mishra's blood for his alleged links with the main culprit.

Moreover, the point-blank attack on the State Home Minister by the opposition is triggered by factors like an initial lukewarm response to the case by police, detaining the accused in police barracks, dramatic escape from police detention and the more dramatic arrest.

The twist is, unlike 2019, the Opposition this year alleges involvement of a ruling party minister vis-a-vis alleged involvement of a BJD functionary (Sarpanch) then.

Adjournment Storm?

In order to pre-empt the Opposition's adjournment move in the coming Winter Session, top sources in the ruling BJD camp informed that the party's core strategy team is in favour of moving an adjournment motion over the LPG price hike on day one itself (after Governor's Address).

"The party has unofficially decided on a plan of action to expose the Opposition parties in the coming winter session. The official approval to it will be sought during the BJD legislature party meeting soon," said a top party insider.

It seems as the Opposition is at war with the ruling BJD over the sensational murder of school teacher Mamita Meher, the ruling camp is up to its Machiavelli politics. The BJD strategists are working to the hilt to take advantage of the split in the Opposition (BJP and Congress) during the upcoming winter session to keep the Opposition busy in in-fighting.

Assembly Rules Over Adjournment

As per the House rules, a member of the House can move a motion of adjournment on a matter of urgent public importance and of recent occurrence. But the bar there is, the motion shall not deal with any matter which is under adjudication by a Court of law.

In the given parameters, the Opposition cannot give an adjournment motion notice directly over MoS (Home's) alleged role in the Mamita Meher murder. The case is now in the court of law.

However, the Opposition can move such a motion in the garb of 'Deteriorating Law and Order and increasing atrocities on women' with the citation of M-number of cases - from Mahanga double murder to Mamita murder.

And, as per the rules, the ruling BJD also has the right to move any such motion on LPG price hike citing it as a matter of public importance and recent occurrence.

However, the spark lies in the Speaker's order of preference, given that both BJP and Congress are going to move separate adjournments, besides one from the BJD (although on a different issue).

The rules of the House say when Speaker receives two adjournment notices on the same issue, a ballot will be held to determine the relative priority of all notices received.