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Rashmi Rekha Das

Odisha Congress Legislature Party (CLP) Leader Narasingha Mishra on Tuesday alleged that constitutional rights of legislators are being taken away. Legislators are not given documents of bills before being discussed and passed.

Mishra raised this issue in the Assembly during zero hour. Mishra also enquired about the guidelines meant for private universities. “The government should not give permission to private universities to set up medical colleges.  By doing this the state government has violated Book Circular 47. Nobody starting from Chief Minister to government servants is answering our queries even after writing to them in the Assembly,” he said. 

Demanding a ruling of the Speaker, Mishra alleged that “Going by the norms, ruling party MLAs and Chief Minister are bound to answer to our queries within 15 days of asking questions which is not happening here.  Besides, when legislators are being asked questions, they have a habit of saying data are being collected in this regard.”

Meanwhile, Speaker Bikram Keshari Arukh instructed the Assembly secretary to provide required data to Congress legislators. 
Expressing concern over the violation of the Book Circular 47, the Speaker said, “Chief Secretary and Parliamentary Affairs Secretary would ascertain the reasons behind not executing the Book Circular 47 in a week.”

Rajendra Dholakia, Minister of Planning and Convergence of Odisha, said “We will try to sort out issues raised by Mishra. It’s merely impossible on part of MLAs to provide all the data in a day.”

Addressing media, Mishra said, “I have made it clear that going by constitutional rights, legislators have some rights and privilege. Starting from Chief Minister to ruling party MLAs and other officers are depriving us of such rights.  Any bill before being passed in the Assembly it should be discussed and verified by Law department. However, this is not the case here.”

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