Mrunal Manmay Dash

Protesting the government decision to allow MLAs to attend the budget session of the Odisha Assembly virtually, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Monday walked out of the all-party meet ahead of the Assembly session.

Speaking to the reporters, a fuming Jayanarayan Mishra said, “They (the Speaker and BJD) do not want to hear our concerns. One of the major concerns we raised in the meeting was allowing MLAs to attend the House in a virtual mode.”

"It was a practice during Covid times. However, there is no need for such a thing now. In fact, there aren’t any examples of such a practice either in the Parliament or at any other State Assembly,” he said.

“I do not know why the BJD MLA’s are scared to come to the House and face our questions. But nobody should be allowed to attend the Assembly from home,” Mishra added.

The Congress party on the other hand seemed ok with the decision but only on health grounds.

Senior Congress leader Narasingha Mishra said, “The law and order situation in the State has gone from bad to worse in last few years. Murder and robbery have become a regular affair in Odisha. We will raise this issue in the Assembly.”

“The State government alleges that the Centre is not procuring par-boiled rice from Odisha. There is a provision in the Food Corporation Act that if the farmer is not able to sell his produce, then the FCI will buy that. There is corruption to the tune of thousands of crores of rupees,” Mishra alleged.

In a related development, media personnel will be allowed to the press gallery to cover the Assembly proceedings during the session, Mishra informed.

The budget session of Odisha Legislative Assembly will begin from February 21 and will continue till April 6.

(Reported By Harihar Chand, OTV)