Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 9:
Toeing the line taken earlier in the day by the BJP, the Congress this evening announced its decision not to be part of the five-member committee formed by the Odisha government to study the functioning of legislative councils in other states.
BJP legislature party leader in the state Assembly Basant Panda had announced in the afternoon his party’s decision against joining the panel formed by the government.
Calling the government’s decision ‘arbitrary’, the Congress followed suit with PCC president Prasad Harichandan announcing in the evening that the party was not consulted in the matter.
“The government’s decision taken in this regard has been taken in an arbitrary fashion. It can bring an official resolution in the Odisha Assembly. Again this resolution has to be a unanimous one. For the resolution to be unanimous, the matter needs to be discussed with all legislative parties in the Assembly. Neither the Chief Minister nor the government has discussed the matter with our legislature party leader who is also the Leader of the Opposition in the state assembly”, said Harichandan.
The PCC chief said that the government should have consulted all opposition parties and tried to evolve a consensus on the issue before taking such an important decision, he said.
“It can only be called a ‘meri ray nispati” (It’s my way or highway). The government took the decision on its own, formed a committee on its own and selected the members too on its own,” said Harichandan.
“According to the rules of the Assembly, only the Speaker has the powers to nominate members. How could the government appoint members without asking us? Our member only knew after he was appointed; nobody had taken his opinion before appointing him. Before appointing someone from the Congress party, is not desirable to consult the leader of that party in the Assembly?” asked the PCC chief.
Describing the move for constitution of the legislative council by the government as a move to contain the growing resentment within the BJD leaders, Harichandan said; “We are not going to be a party to this decision of the government and we are not going to be a member of the committee.”