Assembly adjourned sine die ahead of schedule

Bhubaneswar: As anticipated, the Budget session of Odisha Assembly ended on Monday four days ahead of schedule. Speaker Niranjan Pujari adjourned the House sine die since no business could be transacted in the past couple of days as Opposition remained adamant on a reply from chief minister Naveen Patnaik on chit fund scam and other issues.

A majority of the sitting days of the second part of the Budget session of the Assembly, scheduled to continue till May 20, were washed out prompting the Speaker to adjourn the House prematurely.

However, during the 27 working days, the treasury bench was able to pass six bills, including the Odisha Panchayat Laws (Amendment) Bill, 2016. Two days back, ithe House had passed Appropriation bill in the absence of Opposition members.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik said it is most unfortunate and a matter of serious concern that the second phase was continuously stalled by the opposition, affecting the interests of people and the state.

“My government and my party always believes in the highest traditions of parliamentary democracy, took all initiatives to reach out to the opposition to restore normalcy and get into serious legislative business.

“I also personally took initiatives to restore normalcy in the house. But the opposition did not cooperate and continued their obstructionist attitude for narrow political agenda at the expense of larger interest of people of our state.

“What is most unfortunate is that the temple of democracy was used as a forum of agitational politics in spite of its clear prohibition in legislative rules. People have voted us to this august house to discuss and deliberate their issues and legislate for their betterment. The time has come for serious self-introspection by the opposition,” said Patnaik, who is also head of the Biju Janata Dal (BJD).

Leader of Opposition Narasingh Mishra, of the Congress, however hit out at the BJD for not allowing the opposition to speak in house, apprehending that the government, which is involved in various scam, would get exposed.

None from the Opposition members participated in the discussion on the Bill and the SC-ST members of BJP and Congress sat on a dharna in the Well of the House as the Bill was passed by voice vote.

Only two BJD members – Prafulla Samal and Amar Prasad Satpathy – participated in the debate before the Bill got nod of the House.

As the House assembled for the day today, it witnessed scenes similar to the ones in the previous days when the striking SC/ST MLAs created a pandemonium forcing the Speaker to adjourn the House first till 3 pm and then till 6 pm.