Odisha Assembly adopts motion to reduce number of sitting days

Bhubaneswar: With Odisha Assembly unable to function normaly due to pandemonium by opposition and treasury bench members, the House on Thursday adopted a motion to reduce the number of sitting days in a calendar year.

Though it was mandated since 2005 that the sitting days of Odisha Assembly would be at least 60 days in a calander year as per the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business in Odisha Legislative Assembly, with adoption of the motion the House could reduce the number of its sitting days.

Government Chief Whip Ananta Das moved a motion saying “provided that the House may reduce the sitting days of the Assembly in a calander year,” which was adopted during the post lunch session of the assembly here.

Das moved the motion as per the recommendation of the Rule Committee meeting which was held on November 25.

However, both Congress and BJP strongly opposed the motion terming it as “undemocratic.” “I differ with the decision of the Rules Committee in respect of amendments proposed by the 13 members to the recommendation laid in the House,” said Congress MLA from Rajnagar Anshuman Mohanty, the lone member from the opposition in the Rules Committee.

Mohanty, on the other hand viewed that the recommendations of the Rules Committee should be different.

“It should be like-provided that the House may reduce the sitting days of the Assemlbly in a calander year by adopting a motion unanimously to that effect,” Mohanty said.

BJP member Pradip Purohit, who moved an amendment, accused the state government of adopting a motion with its brute majority. “We demand that there should be no change in the number of days in the sitting of the assembly,” BJP legislature party leader Basat Kumar Panda said.

Supporting the motion, Parliamentarty Affairs Minister Bikram K Arukh said though there had been provision of minimum 60 days sitting since 2005, the desired goal had been met twice till 2013. “The sitting of the assembly had been for 60 days only on two occasions in 2006 and 2013,” Arukh said.

While justifying his motion, government Chief Whip Ananta Das claimed that number of sitting days in OLA had been more than many major states.