Rail factory issue derails Odisha assembly proceedings

Bhubaneswar, March 21 (IANS) The Odisha assembly on Monday witnessed uproarious scenes over the Centre’s move to shift a proposed wagon repair factory from Narla in Kalahandi district to Visakhapatnam in Andhra Pradesh.

While the ruling Biju Janata Dal members described the central government move as “step-motherly treatment of Odisha”, the Congress legislators wondered aloud how the 20 BJD parliamentarians did not get a whiff of the Centre’s move and failed to raise the issue in the Lok Sabha.

Speaker Niranjan Pujari adjourned the assembly till 3 p.m. after the pandemonium in the house over the issue.

Raising the issue during zero hour, BJD MLA Amar Prasad Satpathy said it showed the step-motherly attitude of the union government towards the state.

Senior Congress leader Narasingh Mishra told the media that the step-motherly attitude of the Narendra Modi government and “inefficiency” of the BJD government in the state were responsible for the shifting of the factory to Andhra Pradesh.

“I wonder what the BJD MPs were doing in the Lok Sabha! Why did they not raise the issue in parliament? The BJD is only shedding crocodile tears and not doing anything to protect the state’s interests,” the leader of the opposition said.

BJP MLA Rabi Narayan Nayak said nothing was final as yet on the matter as only a recommendation had been sent to the Railway Board by the East Coast Railway.

“Nothing is confirmed as yet. If the East Coast Railway have decided, let them set up another factory at Visakhapatnam. The BJP will fight to get the factory set up at Narla,” the BJP member said.

Replying to an application under the Right to Information Act by one Hemant Panda in Bolangir district, authorities said the decision to shift the factory was taken in view of the operational benefits available at Visakhapatnam.

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