Chit fund uproar: Assembly adjourned till 3 PM

Bhubaneswar: Impasse continued to prevail in the Odisha Assembly on Thursday over the chit fund issue as the Opposition and ruling members indulged in a relentless war of words forcing the Speaker to adjourn the House till 3 PM.

As soon as the House session began, the Opposition Congress and BJP members rushed to the well demanding the resignation of chief minister Naveen Patnaik. Countering the Opposition demand, ruling party members demanded an unconditional apology from the leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra. Unable to run the house amid pandemonium, Speaker Niranjan Pujari adjourned the House till 3 PM.

Talking to OTV, Opposition chief whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati said the Congress members did not start the disturbance in the House.

“We wanted to request the Speaker to allow a discussion on the chit fund issue. But as the ruling party members began shouting, we realised that the Speaker is in no mood to pay heed to our request. So we also shouted at the top of our voice. The BJD members have stalled the House for three consecutive days as they don’t want to discuss chit fund issue,” he noted.

Bahinipati further said the Opposition has demanded a clarification from the chief minister on the questions asked by the Opposition leader about the details of Purna Chandra Padhi, an employee of Naveen Nivas, who has deposited crores in cash in the BJD bank account, which include a deposit of Rs 8 crore on a single day.

Refuting his allegations, BJD member Pratap Jena said at the outset, the Congress chief whip tried to say something and he was joined by his party members. This forced the ruling members to counter the allegations of the Opposition members.

“The shouting of the ruling members is justified as they had demanded an unconditional apology from the Opposition leader for furnishing wrong and false information in the House time and again,” he added.

In his reply, Bahinipati said since the ruling members did not allow the Opposition leader to give his statement in the House, the Opposition will not allow the chief minister to give his statement. “We will vehemently protest his statement,” he maintained.

In his statement to the media, BJP member Pradip Purohit said earlier the allegation was against minister Sanjay Dasburma on his links with the chit fund companies. Now it is clear that the state government is involved in this mega scam as the chief minister is reluctant to give a clarification on these issues in the Assembly

“The chief minister is behaving like an escapist as he is aware that he has no reply to place in the House,” he claimed.

Expressing surprise at the demand of the ruling members for resignation of the Opposition leader, Purohit said he has never seen such incidents in any Assembly in other states.

“As we are in the Opposition bench, our duty is to ask questions and expose the weakness of the government,” he pointed out.