Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jul 9:
After eight days of a fast unto death launched by Odia Bhasha Sangram Samiti, the Odisha government bowed down on Wednesday to its demand for implementation of the Odisha Official Language Act, 1954 and announced the formation of a five-member ministerial committee for the purpose.
The Samiti called off its fast unto death after Law Minister Arun Sahu conveyed the decision of the state government.
While School & Mass Education Minister Debi Prasad Mishra has been made the chairman of the ministerial committee, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Bikram Keshari Arukh, Information & Public Relations Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak, Law Minister Arun Sahu and Energy Minister Pranab Prakash Das have been named its members.
The announcement of the committee by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik followed a meeting between a 10-member delegation of the Samiti and Information & Public Relations Minister Atanu Sabyasachi Nayak at latter’s chamber in the state secretariat.
The meeting at Nayak’s chamber was attended by Law Minister Arun Sahu, Food Supplies & Consumer Welfare Minister Sanjay Dasburma, Energy Minister Pranab Prakash Das, Principal Secretary, Law Bibhuprasad Routray from the government side and Sankarshan Parida, convenor of the committee, Subrat Prusty, joint convenor, Prof Natabar Satapathy, Padma Charan Nayak, senior journalist Subhash Chandra Pattanayak, Hemant Rath, social activist Sudarshan Das and Deba Prasad Parija from the Samiti side.
It was decided at the meeting to request the Chief Minister to form a five-member ministerial committee to discuss implementation of the Odisha Official Language Act, 1954 and other demands of the Samiti.
In addition to the five ministers, the committee will have seven members of the Odia Bhasha Sangram Samiti, Principal Secretary, Law, Principal Secretary, General Administration, Director Odisha Bhasha Pratisthan and a linguist as its members. The committee can invite any government officer if the need arises.
The first meeting of the committee will be held after Niladri Bije of Lord Jagannath following approval of the Chief Minister.