Himansu Shekhar Rout

The Budget session of Odisha Assembly which will commence from February 5 and end on February 13 is likely to be stormy as the opposition parties have a host of issues to corner the state government. 

During the session having seven working days, on February 8 Finance Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha will present an interim Budget worth Rs 2.60 lakh crore for the fiscal 2024-25 ahead of the upcoming general elections.

As per reports, this session being the last one before the elections, opposition parties like Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and Congress have drawn up their strategies to nail the BJD government. 

The major issues which are most likely to raise the heat in the Assembly included the controversy on rice collection by Arpan Rath, alleged disrespect to legendary litterateur during World Odia Language Conference, allegation of scam in Srimandir corridor proejct, scam in junior teachers’ recruitment, non-implementation of Ayushman Bharat, tribals land transfer, farmer’s death and mismanagement of paddy procurement centres.  

The leaders of the BJP and Congress are most likely to attack the government on these issues. Chief whip of the opposition and BJP leader Mohan Majhi said, ”The government is not implementing the Central government schemes like Ayushman Bharat in Odisha. The government is obstructing such schemes. Tribals in Odisha are up in arms against the state government. Their anger will reflect in the upcoming elections. We will raise these issues.” 

Congress leader Narasingha Mishra said, ”Politics is being done in the name of religion. Rs 4200 crore was spent for the Srimandir corridor project and the government is unable to give the details of utilisation. The BJD is doing politics with government funds. The BJP and BJD are two sides of a coin. These issues will be raised in the Assembly.”

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Government chief whip Prashant Muduli said, ”We have seen in the past the activities in the Assembly sessions. The BJD is fully prepared to deal with the opposition. We want the opposition parties should raise issues related to the interests of the people, discuss real issues and give suggestions.  

For smooth conduct of the Assembly, Speaker Pramila Mallik chaired an all-party meeting on Sunday.

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