Logjam on in Assembly; all-party meet again at 4:30 PM

Bhubaneswar: With no consensus emerging at the all-party meeting held this morning to discuss the demands of the Opposition, the Opposition Congress and BJP members vented their ire in the State Assembly forcing the Speaker to adjourn the House for the fourth time till 5 PM amid pandemonium.

The Speaker has called an all-party meeting for the second time today to discuss the matter. The meeting will begin at 4.30 PM.

As soon as the House session began, the Opposition Congress members rushed to the Well of the House wearing black gowns urging Speaker Niranjan Pujari to direct the chief minister to give a statement on the chit fund links of minister Sanjay Dasburma, statement of Justice MM Das on chit fund matter and the BJD bank account issue in the House. They also wanted to know as to why the chief minister has kept mum on their demands.

As ruckus prevailed in the House, the Speaker adjourned the House till 11.30 AM. But as bedlam continued to prevail, the House was adjourned thrice: first till 12.30 PM and then 3 PM and finally 5 PM.

Talking to media persons after the adjournment of the House, BJD spokesperson Pratap Jena said the Opposition is not keen on running the House as its main aim is to stall the Assembly on some pretext or the other.

“We want the House session to run smoothly and discuss various issues and problems of four crore people of Odisha for which we are prepared to compromise with the Opposition. But the ill intention of the Opposition to stall the House in this manner is grossly unfortunate,” he said.

Opposition Chief Whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati said the Opposition has three main demands from the beginning of the House session till date.

“Our first demand is the statement of the chief minister in the House on Chit Fund Commission of Inquiry. Our second demand is the resignation or sacking of Justice MM Das as the chairman of the Chit Fund Commission and the third is immediate withdrawal of derogatory statement of the government against the leader of the Opposition in the House,” he added.

He further said the Congress had also asked the state government to take prompt measures to refund the money to the duped investors who had invested in the chit fund companies.

“Since the issue involves the plight of the poor investors, the Opposition will continue its fight for them till they get their money back,” Bahinipati maintained.

Supporting the stand of the Congress, BJP leader Pradip Purohit said the all-party meeting convened by the Speaker, is attended by the Congress and the BJP leaders who are keen to find a solution to the ongoing impasse in the State Assembly. On the other hand, the BJD leaders, including minister Sanjay Dasburma for whom there is unrest in the House for his link with the chit fund companies, and another minister Arun Sahu, who had said that Opposition leader has gone senile on the issue of BJD bank account, are unable to take a decision on their own as they are waiting for the instruction of their high command. As a result, the all-party meeting has remained inconclusive.

“I am sure some solutions would emerge if the leader of the House and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik remains present at the meeting or the BJD leaders, who are attending the meeting, take a decision that the chief minister will give a statement in the Assembly,” Purohit said.

Expressing surprise over the silence of the chief minister, he said why the former is apprehensive of giving his statement in the House which has been stalled on this matter for 5-6 days now.

“The ruling members have made it clear that the chief minister will not give his statement in the House. How can the Assembly run smoothly? This is a well thought-out conspiracy of the ruling party which wants the stalemate to prevail as they have no intention to run the House,” he said.