Odisha opposition blames government for legislative disruptions

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Bhubaneswar, May 17 (IANS) A day after Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik blamed the opposition for stalling the assembly proceedings, the Congress and BJP on Tuesday launched a scathing attack on the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) for “choking the voice of opposition”.

The state government has committed “murder of democracy in broad daylight,” they said.

Notably, the budget session of the Odisha assembly was on Monday adjourned sine die, four days ahead of the schedule.

The second phase of the session was almost washed out following disruptions on various issues, including chit fund scam.

“It is the duty of the state government to run the house. We participated on several issues. But, when the chit fund issue and transfer of money to BJD bank account were raised, the government resorted to stall the proceedings,” said Leader of Opposition Narasingh Mishra, who belongs to the Congress.

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He said even though the opposition had moved an adjournment motion to discuss the issue of about 20 lakh people being swindled by chit fund companies, the speaker did not allow the discussion.

The opposition had also raised the issue of implementation of the Odia language in official work, which was also rejected by the speaker, Mishra said.

He criticised Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for his lack of proficiency in Odia language and accused him of being autocratic.

“The chief minister does not believe in democracy. He believes in autocracy and Hitlerism. He comes to the House for five minutes. He does not even participate in discussions of his own department and only reads paper written by others,” said Mishra.

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The state unit of the BJP too came down heavily on the state government for not allowing its members to speak in the house and adjourning it sine die ahead of the schedule.

“The duty of the opposition is to seek clarification from the government on issues relating to the problems of the people of the state. We had sought replies from the chief minister on various issues. But he behaved like an escapist by not giving any answer to our questions,” said state BJP president Basanta Panda.

“We would have certainly welcomed him had he given his reply in the assembly. Instead, he preferred to give his statement outside the assembly in an irresponsible manner, showing his sheer audacity,” Panda added.

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