Odisha Assembly adjourned after uproar over Polavaram project

Bhubaneswar: Within minutes of its commencement, Odisha Assembly was today adjourned till afternoon after uproar by ruling BJD members against Centre’s stand on the controversial Polavaram project in neighbouring Andhra Pradesh.

As soon as the House met for the day, treasury bench members waved banners and raised slogans against the Centre on the Polavaram issue.

The ruling party members also alleged that both Congress and BJP were against the interest of the state. They accused both Congress-led UPA and BJP-led NDA governments of ignoring Odisha during cyclone ‘Phailin’ in 2013 and cyclone ‘Hudhud’ in 2014.

Opposition Congress and BJP members, who were all set to participate in the Question Hour, were surprised over Speaker Niranjan Pujari’s announcement within minutes after the House assembled this morning that the House was being adjourned till 3 PM.

“The ruling party is running away from discussion and therefore it forced adjournment of the House. I have never seen treasury bench members stalling the proceedings,” Leader of the Opposition Narasingha Mishra of Congress said outside the Assembly.

Mishra said Congress had given a notice for debate on unemployment issue in the state. This apart, Congress had moved a motion on “Chitfund scam resulting in cheating of 20,000 families and involvement of the ruling party.”

BJD spokesman Samir Ranjan Das said outside the Assembly that government was ready to discuss any issue in the House.

Mishra, however, accused the ruling party of acting differently. He said right from the beginning of the session, the ruling party members had been disrupting the proceedings on some plea or the other. .

Mishra said, “While the BJD spokesmen says that Question Hour is very important and should not be interrupted at any cost, they did that today. The Question Hour has been suspended as the House is adjourned.”

As per the decision of the all party meeting chaired by the Speaker, Mishra said it was decided to hold a discussion on the chitfund scam. However, ruling party members ensured that the discussion was not held by creating pandemonium, he said.

Asked to comment on BJD members’ allegation that Congress and BJP joined hands on the issue of Polavaram project, Mishra said, “The ideology of Congress and BJP are poles apart. It is BJD which was in alliance with BJP for nine years. It is clear who is with whom.”

The opposition leader also alleged that the state government did not have adequate information regarding the possible impact of Polavaram project on Odisha. “You (BJD) have 20 MPs in the Lok Sabha, but why do you disrupt Odisha Assembly,” Mishra asked.

Meanwhile, Congress walked out of the business advisory committee meeting when the Speaker disallowed a debate on the chitfund scam.

The BJD spokesman said though government was ready for discussion on the chitfund scam, the Speaker was seeking legal opinion on having a debate in the House when the matter was sub-judice.