Din in Odisha Assembly as BJP seeks lottery system for listing of questions

Bhubaneswar: BJP members on Monday created ruckus in Odisha Assembly alleging that questions for discussion are being selected arbitrarily and not by lottery, leading the speaker to adjourn the House thrice.

Speaker S N Patro denied the allegation and said henceforth MLAs would be informed about the timing of lottery via SMS.

Important questions submitted by legislators are generally discussed in the House while written replies are  given by ministers to other queries. Questions for discussion are selected by lottery.

Opposition MLAs, however, alleged that major issues are not being discussed due to lack of a lottery system and questions are listed keeping an eye on the comfort of the government.

As soon as the House assembled for the Question Hour, the issue was raised by Leader of Opposition Pradipta Kumar Naik of the BJP. He was supported by party members who rushed to the well demanding that questions for discussion be chosen by lottery.

Unable to run the House, the speaker adjourned the House initially for an hour, and twice later – for 10 minutes and five minutes.

Normalcy returned to the House after Patro announced that the timing of the lottery would be informed to MLAs via SMS.

“It (lottery) is done in the presence of any one MLA. When there is no MLA present, the Speakers does it. Henceforth, MLAs will be sent SMS before the lottery,” he said.

During one of the adjournments, Opposition BJP Chief Whip Mohan Majhi told reporters that neither the speaker nor  the Assembly secretary are executing the lottery system.

Congress Legislature Party leader Narasingha Mishra said it is not the duty of the Assembly secretary or any other  official to decide which question is to be discussed in the House.

“As per rules, questions will be selected through a lottery system and the member concerned, who will raise the question, has to remain present in the House. But if this procedure is not carried out, it is a matter of grave concern,” he told reporters.

(PTI)

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