Assembly session: Opposition targets four ministers

Bhubaneswar: As the winter session of the Odisha Assembly is all set to be a stormy one with the Opposition parties making their intentions clear to corner the government, the focus will be on the four ministers who have been in the thick of controversy.

Agriculture minister Pradeep Maharathy, Revenue and Disaster Management minister Bijayshree Routray, Cooperation and Excise minister Damodar Rout and Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare minister Sanjay Das Burma will be targets of Opposition parties.

In issues ranging from Agricultural loans to ration card distribution, these four ministers have been surrounded by controversy. The people of the State also know that these ministers have not done adequate work.

“As an opposition party, the BJP will target these ministers and will raise their issues in the Assembly”, said BJP MLA Pradip Purohit.

“Our target will be the ministers of four departments and the chief minister. Based on this we will plan our strategy for the winter session”, said Congress MLA Prakash Behera.

Notably, the Agriculture minister has drawn a lot of flak over more than hundred farmer suicides. Moreover, his comments on the issue have also invited a lot of criticism in the recent past. He has also faced a lot of protests at various places in the State during his visits.

Similarly, the Revenue minister Bijayshree Routray has landed himself in trouble over the farmer suicides and drought. The Opposition parties have strongly denounced the report by the Special Relief Commissioner that none of the suicides are on account of crop loss and loan burden.

“The government will counter all the questions raised on the matter and will present the truth before the Assembly and the people of Odisha,” said Routray.

The Cooperation department has also been targeted by the Opposition for its inefficient distribution of agricultural loans worth Rs 5,500 crore.

“The Opposition has not delivered on what it says. Since they don’t have any grounds to attack the government, they are targeting individual ministers. I will also counter attack,” said Cooperation minister Damodar Rout.

Allegations of irregularity in identifying beneficiaries and distribution of ration cards under National Food Security Act (NFSA) have also seen the Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare minister, Sanjay Das Burma in the dock.
Not only has the opposition, even his party colleague including the Agriculture minister have brought such charges on the department. However, Das Burma’s response could not be obtained.