Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Mar 25:
The Odisha Assembly on Wednesday witnessed uproarious scenes over the power tariff hike announced by the Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC) yesterday, forcing Speaker Nniranjan Pujari to adjourn the House twice – first till 12.30 pm and then till 3 pm.
As soon as the Question Hour began, Opposition members were up on their feet raising slogans and waving placards condemning the hike. As the Congress and BJP members rushed near the Speaker’s’ podium and created a ruckus, the Speaker adjourned the House till 12.30 pm.
The Speaker had to adjourn the House a second time till 3 pm after normalcy could not be restored even after the resumption at 12.30 pm.
“We had asked for the suspension of the Question Hour and a debate on the adjournment motion we had moved on the issue. But the Speaker did not accept our demand. He is within his rights to reject the demand. But we will continue to raise the issue that affects lakhs of electricity consumers in the state,” Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra said.
“It is most unfortunate that the tariff hike was announced outside at a time when the House was in session. Our fight for rollback of the decision will continue both inside and outside the Assembly,” said BJP legislature party leader Basanta Panda.
The ruling BJD, however, defended the decision. “We must remember that the hike was not proposed this year. It is an old demand which was rejected both in 2013-14 and 2014-15. But a small hike in tariff had become unavoidable due to the mounting arrears,’ senior BJD leader Amar Prasad Satpathy said.
Meanwhile, the Congress staged a demonstration against the hike at Master Canteen Square here.