Assembly witnesses repeated adjournments

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Assembly today witnessed repeated adjournments and noisy scenes with opposition Congress demanding a ruling from Speaker on ministers allegedly reading out written replies in the House instead of replying to the queries.

The issue was raised by Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra of Congress during the zero hour. As Speaker Niranjan Pujari refused to allow a discussion on the matter, the Congress members rushed to well, stalling proceedings.

The House was adjourned twice, at first till 12.30 pm and subsequently till 3 pm as a similar situation continued even after the House resumed at 12.30 pm.

“As per provision of Rule 189 of the Rules of Business, the ministers shall not read a written speech while replying.

The minister has to take prior permission of the Chair if he or she wants to read out something while replying in demand discussion,” Mishra said.

However, it has been a trend in the House that the ministers are reading out replies, he pointed out.

“We are here to upkeep rules and laws. However, we are breaking the rules and the laws,” he said.

Mishra drew the attention of the Chair to the fact that ministers were giving written replies during demand discussions which according to him was against the prevailing Rules of the Business.

Even replies to the special mention notices served by members were not being given within 48 hours as the rules of business in the Assembly prescribe, Mishra pointed out.

The Speaker issued a ruling to resolve the issue at an all-party meeting, which he has called for.

Senior BJD member Amar Prasad Satpathy said outside the House that he agrees with the Leader of Opposition on the allegation that the members were not being given replies on special mention notices within 48 hours.