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Odishatv Bureau

Bhubaneswar: Even after four years of enactment of the Lokayukta Act, the delay in appointment of the Lokayukta has drawn the ire of opposition who continue to disrupt the proceedings in the Odisha Assembly.

After repeated adjournments of Odisha Assembly amid ruckus by Congress and BJP MLAs over the issue in the past three days, the State government has finally agreed to present its explanation in the House tomorrow.

Earlier on January 3rd, 2014, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had assured to enact the Lokayukta Bill in a month's time after it was approved by the State Cabinet. Later in February 2014, Odisha Lokayukta Bill, 2014 was passed unanimously in the State Assembly in an extended session. With this Odisha became the first State to enact the law.

But after four years, the State government finds itself cornered by the Opposition over delay in implementation of the Odisha Lokayukta Act.

Since last three days, members of the Congress and the BJP have disrupted the Assembly proceedings over the issue.

Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra today said that democracy has been murdered in the House in a joint-effort of the State government and the Speaker.

"The government has turned deaf and dumb. We demand immediate appointment of Lokayukta," he added.

BJP MLA Rabi Nayak said, "As the leaders and ministers of the government are involved in corruption including chit fund and mining scam, they are afraid to appoint the Lokayukta."

On the other hand BJD leader Damodar Rout said, "Let it be Lokpal or any other important issue, it should be raised during the zero hour for discussion. The act of the opposition parties is anti-people and they are doing it to remain popular in media. It is an example of negligence towards duty."

The Opposition members today once again urged Speaker Pradip Kumar Amat to solicit a reply from Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in this regard. Following protests, Amat called for an all-party meeting to normalise proceedings of the House. It was decided in the meeting that government will furnish its reply on the matter tomorrow.

"The discussion in the all-party meeting was positive. The Speaker will present his decision in the House tomorrow and all have decided to let the Assembly proceedings run smoothly," said government chief whip Amar Prasad Satpathy.

It is worthwhile to mention that the Lokayukta Act will bring the Chief Minister, ex-Chief Ministers, other ministers and public servants under the purview of a six-member anti-corruption body headed by a chairperson who will either be a sitting or former High Court judge.

The Bill that was passed in the Odisha Assembly in 2014 had received the President's nod on January 28, 2015.

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