Pradeep Pattanayak

The Odisha Assembly on Friday witnessed uproarious scenes as the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members created a ruckus over the absence of several ministers and even Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik from the House. 

As soon as the House assembled for the Question Hour at 10.30 am, the BJP members rushed to the Speaker’s podium and started sloganeering, raising the issue of black marketing of fertilizers. 

The uproarious situation forced Speaker Bikram Keshari Arukha to adjourn the House till 11.30 am.

While the BJP accused CM Naveen and the Ministers of destroying the dignity of the Odisha Assembly by remaining absent from the House, the Congress launched a scathing attack on both the ruling BJD and the centre.   

Expressing his concern, BJP chief whip Mohan Charan Majhi wished to know why Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was on a visit to Padampur when the Appropriation Bill was to be passed in the House. 

“Why is the CM absent? Why is the Agriculture Minister absent? Why is Finance Minister absent? Since the Finance Minister is also the Parliamentary Affairs Minister, he must have presented in the House. The government has not made any announcement over the issues we raised like input subsidy and Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima. There is only the Forest Minister to answer to all the questions on behalf of the ministers,” alleged Majhi. 

Hitting out at both the state and the central government, Congress legislature party leader Narasingha Mishra held the Central government responsible. “The Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana means the central government is to be held responsible for this. They can’t go away by shifting the responsibility onto others,” said Mishra. 

“Odisha government is also equally responsible. The question is why they implanted the yojana in the state. It is Naveen Babu’s weakness that he agrees to whatever the Prime Minister says. The insurance company has been directed to disburse crop insurance money in three blocks of the election-bound constituency. What about the other areas where farmers have also suffered losses,” Mishra asked. 

In his response, BJD MLA Amar Satpathy said, “The objective is not the farmer issue. They are using the House to keep the figure intact. The Question Hour is essential. To disrupt the QR, to disrupt the proceedings and speak something different indicate one thing that the House is being used to fulfill political motives. Those who are disrupting the House proceedings today eyeing to gain political mileage as the by-election is ahead.”