Ruling party, Opposition stall proceedings of Odisha Assembly

Bhubaneswar: Pandemonium prevailed in the Odisha Assembly today as members of the ruling party and the Opposition created noisy scenes over different issues, following which Speaker had to adjourn the proceedings till 3 pm and later for the day.

As soon as the House assembled to transact today’s business, Congress legislators marched to the Well of the House and raised slogans over media reports on presence of CBI officials in the State Secretariat. BJP members also joined the protest and resorted to sloganeering.

On the other hand, ruling-party members targeted the Centre objecting to the change in funding pattern under post-Matric scholarship programme for ST and SC students.

Commenting on the adjournment, Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra said, “Though the Speaker had accepted the adjournment motion for discussion, the government was afraid of it and did not have any answer. Therefore, the BJD members did not allow the House proceedings to run smoothly.”

Congress chief whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati said the Chief Minister should give a clarification in the House as to why the CBI was at the State Secretariat as reported by media.

Asked about the CBI’s presence in Secretariat, BJD MLA Arun Sahoo said the media which has reported about it should clarify on the matter.

Earlier in the day, the Speaker had accepted an adjournment motion moved by the Congress over felling of trees for setting up of a beer factory in Balarampur of Dhenkanal. However, Forest and Environment Minister Bijayshree Routray is to reply on the issue.

Meanwhile, OPCC chief Niranjan Patnaik said, “Our party opposes the BJD government’s move to promote liquor in the State by felling trees. Is there anything wrong in it?”

BJP MLA Rabi Naik said, “Forest lands are being cleared for industrialisation despite opposition by the locals. In Dhenkanal, locals have been opposing the felling of trees for beer factory, but the State government seemed insensitive to the demands.”

Opposition parties also accused the Odisha Assembly Speaker, Pradip Amat of being partial and running the House on the instructions of ruling-BJD members. It is alleged that House secretary, after having a chat with the Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Bikram Keshari Arukh, whispered to Speaker to adjourn the House till 3 PM.

“On getting instructions from Parliamentary Affairs Minister, Bikram Arukh, the secretary whispered into the ears of Speaker to adjourn the House so that there could be no discussions on the adjournment motion. This clearly proves that the Odisha Assembly speaker is dancing to the tunes of ruling-BJD,” said BJD MLA Pradip Purohit.

Opposition party chief whip, Tara Prasad Bahinipati alleged that there is a nexus between the Speaker and the BJD and the former is acting as ‘Dritarashtra’ in the House.

BJD spokesperson, Sameer Dash on the other hand asked the opposition members to first clarify when they used to stall the proceedings of the House.