Oppn blames Naveen for not responding to queries in Assembly

Bhubaneswar: The opposition Congress and BJP members on Tuesday staged a walk out from the Assembly accusing Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik of not replying to any of their queries during a debate on demands of the Home department.

“As the Chief Minister is not replying to any queries of the opposition members, there is no point in sitting in the House. We are walking out in protest,” Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra of Congress said before leading the walk out.

BJP legislature party leader K V Singhdeo also walked out of the House along with party members on the same ground.

Mishra, during his speech had sought the reason behind the state government issuing a notification for constitution of a Lokayukta even as the Act in this regard was passed two years ago.

The state government deliberately kept the Act in cold storage out of fear, Mishra alleged asking Patnaik to spell out the reasons behind the delay.

The Leader of Opposition said since the Lokayukta was not being constituted, corruption charges against influential persons were not being taken up.

Mishra also wanted to know why the state government did not appoint a full fledged chairperson to the Odisha Human Rights Commission.

BJP legislature party leader Singhdeo alleged that the Police was being politically used and the Chief Minister and the Home department did not have information on many things including rate of conviction.

The BJP leader also alleged that minerals worth crores were looted as the state government did not hand over mineral theft cases to the CBI.

Replying the debate, Patnaik said “No major communal incident took place in 2016 and elections to the Panchayati Raj Institution were held successfully.”

“It was heartening to see that record number of voters participated in the democratic process,” Patnaik said adding, in few places people even defied bandh calls by the Maoists.

“The Left Wing Extremism remains largely contained to few pockets in the state in parts of Malkangiri, Koraput, Nuapada, Kalahandi and Rayagada districts. Security forces have been successful in handling the LWE on all fronts,” the Chief Minister said.

He claimed there was no significant rise in criminal cases in comparison to the previous year.

Talking on corruption cases, the Chief Minister said the vigilance department last year and so far this year has registered 650 criminal cases against 1,045 accused persons.

Patnaik said the state government has also taken steps to ensure that the poor and needy were helped through various schemes and assisted through the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund.