Cong moves privilege notices against Odisha minister

Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 13:

The Opposition Congress members today moved two breach of privilege notices against Parliamentary Affairs minister Bikram Keshari Arukh for making “several false and misleading” statements in the House on March 11 on the police firing on anti-liquor protesters in Namtara village in Odisha’s Kendrapara district and the Chief Minister’s visit to New Delhi.

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While replying to the debate on the adjournment motion moved in the House moved by the Congress on the Namtara firing incident on March 11, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Bikram Keshari Arukh had told the House that police had resorted to ‘blank firing’ to disperse the crowd of anti-liquor campaigners in which ‘no one’ was injured.

Accusing the minister of providing misleading information, Aul MLA Debendra Sharma moved a privilege motion against the minister, adding that, at least six persons were injured in the police firing. As he had furnished misleading information to the House, the former gave the privilege motion notice to the Speaker.

Two Congress legislators—Taraprasad Bahinipati and Prafulla Majhi—supported Sharma in moving the notice.

Congress members created a ruckus in the Assembly and rushed to the well demanding a ruling from the Speaker.

Besides, the Opposition brought another privilege motion against Arukh on similar grounds.

The Opposition alleged that the minister had informed the House on the same day that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had gone to New Delhi on an official visit and was scheduled to meet several Union ministers in the interest of the state. However, there was no such mention in the official itinerary of the BJD chief, they pointed out.

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