Odisha MLAs demand hike in salary

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Assembly was today adjourned twice with members cutting across party lines demanding hike in their salary and allowances.

The issue was raised by Congress chief whip Taraprasad Bahinipati during Zero Hour, when he said the present members and ex-MLAs were facing financial crisis due to hike in prices of essential commodities.

A former MLA from Keonjhar district was recently held up at a private hospital for not being able to pay his medical expenses, Bahinipati pointed out.

Congress member Naba Kishore Das supported Bahinipati and urged the Speaker to give a ruling to the government in this regard.

BJP legislature party leader K V Singhdeo also supported the Congress MLAs’ demand, while BJD member Amar Prasad Satpathy pointed out that the salaries of judges have been raised by 200 per cent and the salary and allowances of MLAs and ex-MLAs should be raised immediately.

BJP member B B Harichandan also came out in support of the demand, while BJD member Nrushingha Sahu said the salary of MLAs should be increased to Rs 40,000 per month from Rs 16,000 per month.

Similarly, the pension of former members should be hiked to Rs 30,000 per month from Rs 15,000 per month, Sahu said.

As Speaker Niranjan Sahu did not give any ruling, the agitated Congress members rushed to Well of the House and created a ruckus. Unable to run the House, Pujari adjourned the proceedings twice for ten minutes each.

Later, the MLAs met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at his chamber and apprised him about the plight of the members and ex-MLAs.