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Sharmili Mallick

A day after Minister for Law and Justice Kiren Rijiju informed the Rajya Sabha that the Centre is yet to receive any resolution passed in the Odisha Assembly for the formation of a Legislative Council in the State, it evoked sharp reactions from the BJD leaders in the State.

Speaking to reporters, on the written reply of Rijiju in response to an unstarred question by BJD Rajya Sabha Member Prasanna Acharya in the upper House, Speaker of the Odisha Assembly Surjya Narayan Patro on Friday said the reply of the Union Minister has surprised the people as well as the government in the State.

“The copy of the resolution was sent to the Secretary Generals of Lok Sabha and Rajya Sabha, Secretaries of Ministry of Law and Justice and Ministry of Parliamentary Affairs at New Delhi, respectively and letter to Commissioner-cum-Secretary of Parliamentary Affairs Department in Bhubaneswar on September 18, 2018. Not only once, whenever any query was raised by the Centre, prompt reply was provided by the Odisha Assembly,” informed Patro.

“Even though the papers and documents regarding the resolution to set up Odisha Legislative Council are available with the Lok Sabha, Rajya Sabha, several offices and ministries in New Delhi, it is unfortunate how the Ministry of Law and Justice has overlooked such an important resolution of a State and put forth such an irresponsible reply in the Rajya Sabha. The answer has astonished the people of Odisha as well as the government of the State,” Patro said while taking a dig at, what he termed, the ‘lackadaisical attitude’ of the Union Government towards the State.

Meanwhile, Rajya Sabha MP Munna Khan also expressed surprise over the reply of the Law and Justice Minister.

“The topic was earlier raised in the Parliament but no answers were provided by the Centre then. When BJD leader in the Rajya Sabha, Prasanna Acharya, again asked the Parliament regarding the delay in setting up of the Legislative Council even after the resolution was passed in the State Assembly on September 6, 2018, the Centre said they did not receive anything. This is really surprising,” added the MP.

Acharya had asked Rijiju whether the Odisha Legislative Assembly has adopted a unanimous resolution for the creation of Legislative Council and if the Central government plans to create a Council under Article 169 of the Constitution?

In response to the question, Rijiju stated that no resolution has been received by the government, as per the record. Rijiju further informed that information is being collected from the Odisha State government with matters related to the adoption of the resolution.

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