Stormy start to monsoon session of Odisha Assembly

Bhubaneswar: The Monsoon session of Odisha Assembly took off with a stormy note with ruling MLAs shouting against Centre and Chhattisgarh over Mahanadi water dispute even during the recitation of national anthem.

Unable to run, Speaker Niranjan Pujari adjourned the House till 3 pm.

Opposition Congress termed it is a disregard to the national anthem. Leader of Opposition alleged that it was a conspiracy of ruling party to thwart the assembly transaction on the first day.

“The BJD MLAs have shown disrespect to the national anthem at the behest of their party chief and chief minister Naveen Patnaik, who was present in the House during the incident. He has breached constitutional guidelines. I think ruling party legislators, chief minister and Speaker had earlier hatched a plan unitedly to foil the business today. So, Speaker allowed them to create pandemonium and rejected our motion to cancel question hour and discussion on Mahanadi issue. The Speaker is unable to run the House impartially. Therefore, it can be said that Odisha Assembly is functioning at the whim of ruling party and not as per the constitutional guidelines”, Leader of Opposition Narasingh Mishra. The entire episode is pre-planned, he added.

“It is a rare incident in the history of democracy that ruling party members did not allow recitation of national anthem in the House. It clearly shows that how much BJD is frustrated now. This is grossly unfortunate”, Congress MLA Naba Das said.

“People of Odisha should spit on those who have not learned how to give respect to national anthem. People should hate them”, Opposition chief whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati said. He added the BJD is enacting a drama over Mahanadi and Polavaram. It does not want a discussion on these issue and solution, Bahinipati pointed out.

BJD legislator Nrusingh Sahoo said the member who shouted slogan, might be unaware about the recitation of national anthem. It is an inadvertent mistake, he added.

Soon after the House assembled, the members cutting across party line paid rich tribute to the departed soul. However, BJD legislator Byomakesh Roy (Chandbali) raised slogan against Chhatisgarh and Centre over Mahanadi row when the national anthem was about to be recited.

Soon after the Speaker adjourned the House till 3 pm, members of the treasury bench marched towards Raj Bhawan to meet Governor and submit a memorandum addressed to the President on the issue.