Assembly winter session: Opposition parties to corner BJD

Bhubaneswar: With the winter session of the Odisha assembly beginning tomorrow, opposition parties are ready with their ammo to fire salvos at ruling BJD over a host of issues ranging from farmers’ suicides to drought.

The legislature party of Odisha BJP on Sunday chalked out strategies for the ensuing assembly session. They decided to demand a white paper over the farmers’ suicides issue and the drought situation.

“This is one of the worst droughts in Odisha after 1965. Farmers continue to commit suicide. We are going to make drought and farmers’ suicide our main agenda in the assembly,” BJP lawmaker Pradeep Purohit said.
The party legislators also decided to take up other important issues, including ration card distribution and irregularities in National Food Security Act (NFSA) enrolment, plight of various types of teachers and the law and order situation in the state.

Leader of opposition and senior Congress leader Narasingh Mishra said the party would raise the farmers’ suicide and drought issues in the assembly and demand that the government make its stand clear over the deaths of farmers.

“The Congress will raise major issues like severe drought in Odisha and farmer suicide cases. Apart from this, there have reports from all parts of the state that the poor people have been deprived of ration cards contrary to the provisions of the National Food Security Act (NFSA). While the education system and health services are in a shambles, there have been glaring instances of massive exodus of migrant labourers of Odisha to the neighbouring states. Needless to say, the youth unemployment problem in the state has gone out of proportion. This apart, there are other issues which we would try to present in the Assembly,” Mishra said.

The government, on the other hand, has decided to highlight its achievements while trying to use its most tried and tested ‘central neglect’ issue to counter the opposition.

“During this Assembly session, we will take up a number of issues like the Central government giving virtually non-existent amount of funds for irrigation projects which have come down substantially for funding of many other projects and programmes, and also other issues like the Polavaram project,” chief minister Naveen Patnaik told reporters after presiding over the BJD Legislature Party (BJDLP) meeting.

The ruling BJD, having 117 members out of 147 seats in the house, is all set to steam-roller the demands with its brute majority in the house.
“We are ready to discuss any issue to be raised by the opposition — be it the drought situation or law and order,” said BJD chief whip Ananta Das.

He said the party would hold its legislature party meeting on Monday to chalk out the strategy for the assembly session.

The winter session of the Odisha legislative assembly will begin on December 1 and end on December 26.