Congress members up in arms over Odisha Assembly Speaker’s letter on conduct of MLAs

Bhubaneswar: The letter written by Odisha Assembly Speaker Surjya Narayan Patro on November 8 to legislators asking them to refrain from marching into the well of the House sparked pandemonium today.

Congress legislator Santosh Singh Saluja raised the matter in the House and asked how the Speaker’s letter found its way into media. The letter has tarnished the image of legislators, he added.

Senior Congress legislator Narasingha Mishra also raked up the issue and asked why the OLA Speaker is writing such letter like a teacher threatening members of the House. “The same issue was raised in the Parliament earlier during completion of 50 years of the country’s independence. Have the MPs stopped marching into the well of the Parliament?” Mishra asked.

In his reaction, the Speaker said his letter mentioned that moving to the well of the House will create a bad impression among future generation. The same opinion was put forth by the then Speakers of the Upper House and Lower House of the Parliament when the issue was raised, Patro added.

“When a committee of the Odisha Assembly members visited Himachal Pradesh, they found that no MLA there moves to the well of the House and sloganeer,” said Patro.

As the House members created din, the Speaker adjourned the proceedings and called an all-party meeting to resolve the stand-off.

As soon as the House reassembled later, Deputy Opposition leader Bishnu Sethi raised the PEO Smitarani death case and staged a dharna. Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari presented the supplementary budget of Rs 8,126.32 crore in the House amid the chaos.

When the din continued, the Speaker adjourned the House till Thursday.

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