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Ramakanta Biswas

Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari on Wednesday presented the supplementary budget worth Rs 19833 crore in the Odisha Assembly on the first day of the winter session that got off to a stormy start due to ruckus by the Opposition.  

Of the total supplementary provision of Rs 19,833 crore placed in the Legislative Assembly for approval, an outlay of Rs 4,577 has been earmarked as administrative expenditure, Rs 13,568 programme expenditure, Rs 1,682 crore disaster response funds, and Rs 6 crore for transfers from State.

Department-wise, the highest provision of Rs 3624 crore has been made for the Panchayati Raj and drinking water department, Rs 2310 crore for Health and Family Welfare department and Rs 2143 crore for Energy department.

Similarly, Rs 1,684 provision has been made for disaster management, Rs 1,605 for school and mass education department and Rs 1,141 crore for food supplies and consumer welfare department.   

After the presentation of the supplementary budget, the House was adjourned till tomorrow due to ruckus by the Opposition. 

Before the commencement of the session, Congress party members locked two gates of the Assembly and held protest at two other gates in order to prevent the Minister of State for Home Dibya Shankar Mishra from entering the Assembly. They held placards with ‘Go back Minister of State for Home’ and ‘Give justice to Mamita Meher’ written on those. 

Due to the protest by the Congress, Minister Jyoti Prakash Panigrahi, Sudam Marndi and MLA Nrusingha Sahu faced difficulties and entered the House through another route. Later, the Assembly staff broke the lock to facilitate the entry of the members.

However, the Minister had already entered the House prior to the protest. 

Similarly, the BJP raised the issue of Mamita Meher murder case inside and outside the Assembly. During the presentation of the supplementary budget, BJP members ran into the well of the House showing black towel and posters demanding removal of MoS (Home) Dibya Sankar Mishra and CBI investigation into Mamita Meher murder case. 

“A crime has occurred and there is outpouring of anger across the State, but Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik is silent. It indicates that he is shielding those involved in the case,” alleged Congress MLA Narasingha Mishra.

“We protested in the well of the House and intensified our demand for removal of the Minister and a CBI investigation into the case,” said BJP chief whip Mohan Majhi.

BJD MLA Bhagirathi Sethi said, “The case is under investigation. If judiciary finds the Minister guiltily, he will get punishment. Who are they to say that the Minister is guilty.”

On the other hand, the ruling BJD raised the issue of Central negligence to courter the BJP. The party MLAs took out a protest rally from the Assembly towards Raj Bhawan and later staged a protest outside the Governor’s house.

“Seven BJP MPs from Odisha presented a false narrative in the RD department of the Centre regarding PMAY. They alleged corruption in the implementation of PMAY scheme. Without considering all facts, the Centre stopped the scheme in Odisha while it is still continuing in other BJP ruled States,” alleged BJD MLA Byomekesh Ray. 

Responding to the allegations, BJP general secretary Golak Mohapatra said, “Investigation revealed that eligible beneficiaries were permanently dropped from the waiting list and ineligible beneficiaries were allocated house under the PMAY.”

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