Odisha Assembly passes Appropriation Bill, Cong says illegal

Bhubaneswar: Amid pandemonium and attempts to climb the Speaker’s podium by opposition MLAs, Odisha Appropriation (No 2) Bill was passed in the assembly today even as Congress dubbed it as “illegal” and “unfortunate”.

The dispute between the state government and the opposition Congress surfaced as soon as Speaker Niranjan Pujari asked Finance minister Pradip Kumar Amat to introduce the Appropriation Bill. Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra immediately questioned the legality of the Bill.

Stating that section 3 of Orissa Official Language Act, 1954 clearly says that Bills should be introduced in Odia language with English translation or in Hindi language, Mishra said the Finance minister introduced the Bill only in English language and demanded the Appropriation Bill in Odia language.

Speaker, however, allowed the Finance minister to introduce the Bill prepared in English. When Mishra raised again during consideration stage, Speaker said “You are late.

As I have already allowed the minister to introduce the Bill, nothing can be done now.”

Mishra claimed he had been making objection since the beginning. “But the Speaker allowed the minister to introduce the Bill ignoring my objection. We the law makers cannot break the law formulated in this assembly,” he said.

“It is not illegal. Allowing a Bill made in English language is very much legal and a long practice in the House.

I reserve my ruling on the matter,” Speaker said.

As the Speaker asked a senior BJD member Bed Prakash Agarwal to speak on the Bill, Mishra raised serious objection and demanded that the matter should be held till Pujari gives his final ruling.