Vikash Sharma

Bhubaneswar: With barely a few days left for campaigning for upcoming Patkura assembly election, several BJD MLAs and ministers are now camping in the area to boost party's chances. As a result, majority of the ruling-party members failed to attend Odisha Assembly proceedings and were marked absent by Speaker today.

As several BJD members were absent when Speaker SN Patro called their names, it provided an opportunity for BJP and Congress to target the ruling-BJD. The BJD members, who didn’t turn up for the Assembly session, were seen campaigning for their party candidate in Patkura today.

“We have the quorum and as our party candidate is contesting the polls, it is our duty to campaign for her,” said BJD MLA, Anant Narayan Jena.

BJP alleged that the ruling-BJD has asked 100 MLAs to campaign for party’s Patkura candidate, Savitri Agarwal and 26 of them skipped Assembly today.

It seems that the BJD is trying its best to stop BJP candidate Bijoy Mohapatra from entering Odisha Assembly, said BJP leaders.

“Over 100 MLAs and Ministers of BJD are campaigning in Patkura and 26 of them were absent in Assembly today. It clearly suggests that they (BJD) are not at all concerned about discussing important issues concerning the State,” said Opposition Chief Whip, Mohan Majhi.

Taking a dig at the BJD, Congress members stated that the Speaker should stop the Assembly proceedings till the election process is over.

“BJD has no shame as they want to win the poll and they are not concerned for the development of the State as 90 percent of their members were not present in the house,” said Congress MLA, Tara Prasad Bahinipati.

Responding to BJP and Congress’ allegations, government chief whip Pramilla Mallick said, “Many leaders might be ill or might have some personal problems for which they have not turned up in the Assembly.”

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