Impasse over chit fund scam continues in Odisha Assembly

Bhubaneswar: Odisha Assembly could transact business for barely two-and-half minutes today as the impasse over the chit fund scam continued with opposition Congress and BJP demanding resignation of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik over the issue.

The ruling BJD members, who played a major role in the adjournment of the assembly for the last three days demanding apology from the Leader of Opposition charging him with misleading the House, however, remained silent on the day.

With the stalemate continuing, Speaker Niranjan Pujari held an all party meeting to break the deadlock. Though three marathon meetings were held till evening, the issues could not be resolved.

Leader of Opposition Narasngha Mishra, who was dubbed as “senile” by Law Minister Arun Sahoo on April 4, however, initially refused to attend the all party meeting convened by the Speaker.

He, however, agreed to attend the meeting in the evening after Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Sanjay Dasburma and Government Deputy-chief Whip Rohit Pujari made a special request to the veteran Congress leader.

“The meeting was fruitful, but could not resolve the issues,” said Congress chief whip Taraprasad Bahinipati.

Like last two days, the demands of the agriculture and cooperation departments were kept to be passed through guillotine.

As soon as the House assembled for the day, Congress and BJP members rushed to the well and demanded clarification from the chief minister on the funds received by the ruling BJD. They demanded his resignation and dubbed him as “autocratic.”

While the Congress members attempted to climb the speaker’s podium, the BJP lawmakers wore black clothes to show their protest against the state government.

As the opposition members were in no mood to relent and stuck to their demand for chief minister’s clarification on the chitfund scam, the speaker adjourned the House several times before calling it a day at 6 pm.