After brief lull on Thursday, storm returns to Odisha Assembly

Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Nov 28:

After a brief period of normalcy on Thursday afternoon, during which the supplementary demands of the Agriculture and SC& ST Development departments were passed, pandemonium returned to the Odisha Assembly on Friday morning.

Assembly stalled

As soon as Question Hour began in the morning, the Congress chief whip wanted to know from the speaker what decision he had taken on the Leader of the Opposition’s proposal to reconsider his ruling on consulting the advocate general on allowing a debate in the House on the chit fund scam.

Hardly had the Congress chief whip raised the demand when ruling party members rushed into the well of the House and started shouting slogans.

The House ran for just a minute before it was adjourned till  3 PM. Bth Congress and BJP members were seen protesting from their seats holding banners in their hands demanding a debate on the chit fund issue. Congress members had black bands on their mouths as a mark of protest.

The speaker was heard above the din asking members; “Many days have been wasted and you should all cooperate in the smotth functioning of the House”.

“The Opposition wants the House to run and all matters concerning the state be debated. That’s the reason weagreed to participate in the supplementary demand debate yesterday. We had only one condition that the speaker should reconsider his ruling and the speaker had announced that he will. As the House reassembled for the day today, the Congress wanted to know what decision he has taken after which BJD members rushed into the well of the House shouting slogans,” said Leader of the Opposition Narsingh Mishra speaking to newsmen outside the Odisha Assembly.  Mishra said the House cannot run in a one sided manner as the ruling party desires. The speaker has to take a decision as he had assured the House to do so yesterday.

Similar views were expressed by the leader of the BJP legislature party and MLA from Nuapada Basant Panda, who said; “They (ruling party) do not want to debate issues concerning the state. The Leader of the Opposition had yesterday requested the speaker to reconsider his decision to seek the  advocate general’s advice on the matter to which the speaker had agreed,”  “It’s most unfortunate,” he added.

Commenting on today’s happening in the House, BJD spokesperson Amar Satpathy said; “The ruling party has no hesitation on holding debates on any issue inside the House.  But there should be normalcy and right atmosphere inside the House for holding debates. As you might have seen, as soon as the House reassembled today, Congress and BJP members were seen showing placards and banners from their seats. The House is not one side business and ruling party members protested against this showing of banners inside the House and shouted slogans. It’s everybody’s  responsibility to run the House peacefully.”

On his part, speaker Niranjan Pujari laid the blame squarely on the legislators. “It all depends on the members. I have repeatedly appealed to them to restore normalcy in the House, but to no avail,” he said.

Asked about the advocate general’s view on the issue of allowing a debate on the chit fund scam, he said; “I will see”, before leaving in a huff.

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