Rashmi Ranjan

The ongoing Budget Session of the Odisha Legislative Assembly on Saturday witnessed uproarious scenes and repeated adjournments as the Opposition BJP and Congress party created ruckus in the House over the alleged ‘officer raj’ in the State.

The BJP and Congress launched an attack on the ruling BJD after the photographs of Handlooms, Textiles and Handicrafts Minister Rita Sahu and Environment Minister Pradip Amat with Chief Secretary Pradeep Kumar Jena found on the website of the Information and Public Relations (I&PR) Department.

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Recently, Minister Rita Sahu had met the chief secretary to hand over a cheque of Rs 75,000 as a contribution to the Chief Minister's Relief Fund (CMRF).

The Congress party alleged the government is going to the officer which should be the other way around. 

Raising the matter in the House, veteran Congress leader Narasingha Mishra demanded Sahu’s apology and wanted Jena to regret the matter.

Similarly, BJP created ruckus in the House by displaying a picture of Pujari in which the minister can be seen standing with folded hands in front of a secretary.

Responding to the allegations, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Pramila Mallick said the Opposition should not target all on the issue. She added that the Opposition’s allegations were aimed at trimming the powers of the ministers.

As the ruling BJD and Opposition engaged in the war of words, the Speaker adjourned the House till 4 pm.

Earlier, in the day, the Speaker had to adjourn the House till 11.30 am after the Opposition targeted BJD over the unruly behaviour of Koida Block Development Officer (BDO) and demanded his transfer.

CPI (M) MLA Laxman Munda raised the issue in the House and the Opposition supported him alleging the unruly behvaiour of the officers. 

“The BDO is not listening to anyone. In his ruling, the Speaker of the House has ordered to take necessary action following an inquiry. However, the BDO is saying he has strong connections. So I have demanded the Speaker to transfer the BDO within 24 hours,” said CPI (M) MLA Laxman Munda.

BJP MLA Subash Chandra Panigrahi said, “When Laxman Munda went to the well of the House, the Opposition BJP and Congress supported him and Assembly could not function. I had also complained about BDO’s unruly behaviour. I am yet to understand who is supporting them.”

“The BDO's gundaraj is concerning. We supported Laxman Munda for raising the issue in the House. We demand the Speaker to suspend the BDO by the end of the day,” said senior Congress leader Sura Routray. 

(Reported by Harihar Chand, OTV)