Pradeep Pattanayak

The Speaker of Odisha Legislative Assembly on Monday rejected an adjournment motion moved by Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to discuss the ‘chit fund’ issue. 

Taking exception to it, the BJP accused the Speaker and government of trying to kill democracy. 

“The Opposition party has been given a right to raise any current issue for discussion in the House through an adjournment motion. We had moved an adjournment motion to discuss the chit fund issue, but the Speaker rejected it without clarifying the reason thereof. It clearly indicates that the Speaker and the government are conspiring to kill the democracy,” alleged Opposition Chief Whip Mohan Charan Majhi.

Pointing out the reasons why the motion can’t be discussed in the House, Speaker Bikram Keshari Arukha said the case is sub-judice before the Orissa High Court and a commission is probing it. This apart, in 2014, the then Speaker of the Assembly following the advice of the Advocate General had said in his ruling that there can’t be a discussion on the chit fund issue in the Assembly. 

Similarly, Congress also stalled Question Hour on two issues. 

“We stalled the Assembly over two issues. First, we demanded the state government should announce drought in Western Odisha and, second, insurance money of 2021 Kharif be distributed among the affected farmers,” informed Congress MLA Santosh Singh Saluja.   

The House went on witnessing uproarious scenes from the beginning of the Question Hour, forcing the Speaker to adjourn the House repeatedly. 

As soon as the House assembled for the day, it witnessed pandemonium with members of Opposition creating ruckus, leading to the first adjournment till 11 am. It was when the House reassembled that the same uproarious scenes were witnessed, forcing the Speaker to adjourn the House for 20 minutes. 

Meanwhile, a delegation of former legislators met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik. Their demands included their pension be hiked from Rs 30,000 to Rs 50,000 and medical expenses from the present Rs 2,000 to Rs 10,000.