After Odisha CM, BJP moves privilege motion against his secy

Bhubaneswar: Days after moving a privilege motion against Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in Odisha Assembly, the BJP on Saturday did the same against his Private Secretary VK Pandian.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s Private Secretary VK Pandian had undertaken tours across the state to collect grievances from people. However, neither the Chief Minister nor the Chief Secretary had issued any written consent in this regard even though crores of rupees were spent from the public exchequer for the three month-long tour, said BJP in its privilege notice.

VK Pandian, who is also working as the 5T Secretary, had engaged several members of Odisha Assembly and Ministers to erect podiums and arrange crowds, including school and college students, for his meetings, added the BJP.

“Chief Minister’s Private Secretary had used helicopters booked in the name of Ministers Pradip Amat and Tusarkanti Behera during his tour. This has hampered the dignity of the House. Besides, this particular issue is a fit case for serious offences like fraud, cheating, dishonesty and impersonation,” argued BJP.

As described in the Page 278 of the Practice and Procedure of Parliament, each House of the Parliament, as also a House of the Legislature of the state, has power to secure the attendance of persons on matters of privilege and to punish for breach of privilege or contempt of the House and commit the offenders to custody, highlighted the BJP in its notice.

There are also precedents when privilege motions were moved as well as accepted against individuals, who were not the members of the House, claimed the saffron party.

“Former MLA Prasad Kumar Harichandan had moved a privilege motion against one private individual DW Mishra during the discussions on Sri Sri University Bill-2008. The House had then accepted the motion and formed a committee in this regard. We request the Chair to summon VK Pandian to House and initiate a probe against him by accepting our privilege motion,” said the BJP.

Notably, the BJP moved a breach of privilege notice against Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in the Assembly on September 27 for allegedly calling Opposition members as ‘anti people’ during his statement in the House on September 25.

“We urge the Speaker to take a decision on our privilege motion against the Chief Minister at the earliest,” said BJP member and Leader of Opposition in Odisha Assembly Jaya Narayan Mishra.

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