Odisha Assembly Monsoon session begins amid row over obituary references

Bhubaneswar: The Monsoon session of Odisha Assembly today kick-started with a controversy over obituary references to former Prime Minister late Atal Bihari Vajpayee.

The proceedings of the House began with a minute’s silence after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik moved the obituary references for the departed souls.

Speaking on the motion, CM Naveen said death of Vajpayee ji is a great national loss and a personal loss for him. Patnaik also offered tributes to former Lok Sabha Speaker and 10-time MP Somnath Chatterjee, former chief mister of Tamil Nadu M Karunanidhi, former minister from SoroJagannath Das Mohapatra, ex-MLA from Jajpur Suryamani Jena, ex-MLA from Rourkela Brajkishore Mohanty, ex-MLA from Jajpur Muralidhar Kuanr and ex-Constable, Odisha Police Sanjay Majhi.

Leader of Oppostion Narasingha Mishra, BJP LP leader KV Singhdeo also paid tributes.

After the House was adjourned, the ruling BJD and BJP leaders engaged in a blamegame over the obituary references to the former PM Vajpayee.

BJD leader DebasishSamantaray objected to the speech by BJP’s K V Singh Deo and termed it a ‘political’ one. However, the saffron party’s leader clarified that he only spoke his heart out.

“I only spoke my heart out and I don’t expect him to agree with me. Will he (Samantaray) not agree to the fact that it was Atalji who provided  Naveen babu a launchpad at a time when the state was going through financial strain. Had it not been the case, Naveen babu  would not have been able to lead the government, Singhdeo stated.

Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra also quoted on similar lines and said that CM Naveen should only answer whether he would have been able to form the government had it not been for the support of Atal ji. Mishra however said that whatever happened in the Assembly during obituary references today was ‘unfortunate.’

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It is pertinent to note that the Monsoon session of the Assembly will continue till September 20 and have 11 working days.

The supplementary budget will be tabled in the House tomorrow while bill for the proposed Vidhan Parishad will be tabled day after tomorrow.