Odisha budget session set to be tumultuous

Bhubaneswar: The budget session of Odisha Assembly beginning on Tuesday is set to be a tumultuous affair, with the Opposition BJP and Congress ready to confront the Naveen Patnaik-government on issues including the ruling party leaders’ alleged links with criminal brothers Sushil and Sushant Dhalasamanta.

The gangster siblings’ revelations to the police during interrogation about their ‘relation’ with prominent BJD leaders and former ministers, are expected to be salvos which both the Opposition parties are likely to launch against the BJD. Besides, the alleged involvement of D-brothers in tender fixing cases across the State, has given the two opposition parties fresh ammunition to gun for the BJD in the Assembly.

This apart, farmer suicide cases which has unofficially touched nearly 60 in the recent past, are likely to be raised by the Congress.

“D-link of BJD leaders, widespread tender fixing by the criminal brothers and farmer suicide cases are the main issues we will be raising in the Assembly. Let the ruling party give answer to these. Besides, power cut has started in rural areas and there is no drinking water facility in remote pockets of the State. We will see what steps the government has taken in this regard,” senior BJP leader Pradeep Purohit said.

On the other hand, the Congress, already on the backfoot over the alleged criminal activities of its former Sanakhemundi legislator Ramesh Jena, has apparently decided not to be very hostile during the ensuing 33-day long session. But, the party will aggressively try to corner the ruling BJD in irregularities in distribution of ration cards, which has attracted the attention of National Human Rights Commission (NHRC). Taking up a petition filed in connection with a huge number of ration cards found dumped near railway tracks in Puri district in January,the NHRC had directed the Secretary, Food Supply and Consumer Affairs to submit a report in this regard.

“In many places the rations cards are found dumped, whereas in other areas the needy families are yet to get cards. Is the government looking at this? The law and order situation has also deteriorated in the State,” Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra stated.

However, the ruling BJD seemed nonchalant over the issues.

“We have a number of issues to discuss and several important fields for the development and welfare of our State,” chief minister Naveen Patnaik quipped after the BJD legislature party meeting.