Odisha Assembly runs in absence of Opposition on last day

Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 29:

The Odisha assembly on Saturday conducted the Question Hour for the second day without opposition members in their benches as both Congress and BJP continued with the boycott of the House on the last day of the monsoon session protesting against alleged partisan action of the Speaker.

Assembly 1 LARGEWhile Speaker Niranjan Pujari adjourned the House immediately after question hour till 3 PM, Congress members with Leader of the Opposition (LOP) Narasingh Mishra sat on dharna near the Mahatma Gandhi statue inside the Assembly premises.

Congress members were found holding banners expressing their concern over issues like the continuing spate of infant deaths at the Sishu Bhawan in Cuttack due to alleged negligence and on the partisan role of the Speaker in the House and an attempt to gag democracy.

Speaking to the media LOP Narasingh Mishra compared the state government with mythical demoness Putana of the Dwapara Yuga who had killed several infants by feeding them from her breast before attempting to do the same to infant Krishna.

Responding  to suggestions by the reporters that the important issue of serial deaths of infants at Sishu Bhawan could have be raised in the House instead of holding banners here outside the House Mishra said: “You have rightly said this is a serious issue. It’s not only serious but very critical issue. The state government is donning the role of Putana is murdering infants.”

“There are no doctors in hospitals. In place of 19 assistant professors there are only six in Sishu Bhawan at Cuttack leaving 13 posts of assistant professors vacant. The hospital doesn’t have the requisite number of beds in the Intensive Care Unit nor does it have the requisite number of ventilators. Though this has been continuing for the last three years the government has preferred to remain a mute spectator to the issue while it was in deep slumber. That’s why I compared the state government with demoness Putana,” Mishra commenting on the state of affairs at the Sishu Bhawan said.

On the role of the ruling party trying to gag the voice of the Opposition Mishra said; “These things could have been surely better raised in the Assembly but only if we are allowed to speak in the Assembly. I had given 20 amendments in the Police Bill for debate. Was it for farce or debate?  When we felt that whatever we say in the House will be expunged from the proceedings of the House. Whatever is passed will be withdrawn. The Opposition will not be allowed to speak on serious issues.  Should we attend the House only to listen to disparaging remarks on women members of the House? Are they inviting us to listen to all this? Why are they inviting us to come inside for what? The honourable Chief Minister is gagging everyone.”

Speaker  had on Friday asked the Parliamentary Affairs Minister Bikram Keshari Arukh and government chief whip Ananta Das to persuade Opposition members to join in the proceedings of the House during the post lunch session. However, they failed to convince the Opposition to join in the proceedings.

The Congress had taken the matter to Governor SC Jamir yesterday.

The opposition members had on Thursday walked out of the House protesting the manner in which the Odisha Land Grabbing (Prohibition) Bill, 2015 was passed.

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