Uproar in Odisha House over scams, Opposition MLAs seek CM’s reply

Bhubaneswar: The Question Hour in Odisha Assembly was washed out for the sixth consecutive day today amid a ruckus by members of the opposition parties, who demanded a clarification from Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik over the recent scams including the Omfed and Sapling scams.

The House was adjourned twice in the pre-lunch session as members tried to climb Speaker P K Amat’s podium, seeking action against defaulters.

As soon as the House assembled for the Question Hour, the opposition MLAs trooped into the Well, raising slogans against the ruling BJD.

The Congress legislators raked up the alleged sapling scam and sought to know the names of people involved in it.

“The Agriculture Minister has already acknowledged irregularities in sapling plantation project. He should now reveal the names of persons involved in corruption,” party’s chief whip Taraprasad Bahinipati told reporters outside the Assembly.

Speaking to media persons, Leader of Opposition, Narasingha Mishra said, “The Agriculture Minister has accepted corrupt practices in the department. The house wants to know what action and remedial steps have been taken in this regard.”

The BJP members, on the other hand, created a pandemonium over alleged Orissa State Cooperative Milk Producers’ Federation (Omfed) scam and cooperative bank irregularities.

“We want the CBI to probe into cooperative bank scam. Also, no action has been taken against those involved in sapling scam. The chief minister should clear his stance on these issues,” BJP MLA Rabi Naik said.

BJP MLA Pradeep Purohit said, “The BJP demands immediate CBI investigation into the scam. Also, the Speaker should issue directives to the cabinet ministers for investigation into the corruption charges.”

On the other hand BJD MLA, Samir Dash said, “It is sad that the house is being stalled repeatedly by the members of the opposition for their vested interests. The opposition members need to understand that the people of Odisha will not accept such stalemate which defeats the very purpose of the house.”

Earlier, BJD legislator Damodar Rout had come under fire for pointing out irregularities in activities of Omfed, and cooperative banks.

He also alleged fraud in sapling plantation project to the tune of Rs 100 crore.

Accusing Rout of making “anti-party” statements, BJD MLA Prashant Muduli, along with party’s Jagatsinghpur district president Bishnu Das and other workers, met Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik at his residence Tuesday seeking his ouster.