Assembly adjourned four times

Bhubaneswar: State assembly was adjourned four times today as Congress members stormed into the well protesting against the BJD government`s reported move to hike tax on medicine and several essential commodities.

As soon as the House assembled for the day, Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh stood up and flashed a newspaper carrying a report about the move to raise VAT on medicines and other essential commodities like food items and sugar.

Accusing the state government of taking the step to please businessmen at the cost of poor people, Singh said it showed that the business community had funded the BJD for recently concluded Panchayat elections.

It was said in the Governor`s address on Tuesday that the state`s financial position was strong there was no need to raise VAT on articles which would hit the poor hard, he said.

As Congress members trooped into the well raising slogans against the government and its decision to hike tax, the speaker adjourned the first till 12 noon.

When the House reassembled, Singh alleged the BJD was attacking the people by raising tax after the polls were over. He said "What prompted the government to raise VAT on essential items in a hurry when the assembly is in session?"

As Singh came down heavily on the BJD government also over issues like the recent hooch tragedy, NCP leader Amar Prasad Satpathy raised the matter relating to recent attack on party MLA Nabin Nanda in Dhenkanal district.

As noisy scenes prevailed with opposition members asking the speaker to ensure protection to the legislators, the House was adjourned thrice in quick successions for discussion with political parties for smooth transaction of business.