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Protest over distress sale of tomatoes rocks Odisha Assembly

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Bhubaneswar: The fourth day of the Budget Session of the Odisha Assembly witnessed ruckus by Opposition Congress and BJP members over distress sale of tomatoes in the state.

As the House assembled for the day and Question Hour started, several Congress and BJP members rushed to the well of the House shouting slogans against the state government over the issue while Housing & Urban Development, Water Resources Minister Niranjan Pujari was replying to a question.

Congress Chief Whip Taraprasad Bahinipati stood on a chair besides resorting to sloganeering and placed tomatoes on the podium of Speaker Pradip Kumar Amat.

Amid pandemonium, the Speaker adjourned the House till 11.30 am. Noisy scenes prevailed after the House reassembled as Opposition members again raised slogans and created din following which the Speaker adjourned the House till 3 pm and further till 3.45 pm.

Amat also convened an all-party meeting to resolve the deadlock.

“The state government has failed in proper marketing of agricultural produce for which the farmers are suffering. We today raised the issue in the House,” said BJP MLA Rabi Naik speaking to reporters outside the House.

“The government has failed to understand the problems of farmers. Therefore, we demand that the government should stop the distress sale and ensure the right prices for farmers,” said Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra outside the House.

“Such move of the Opposition members on a day when the Budget is scheduled to be tabled is not acceptable. The issue could have been raised by them after the Question Hour, during Zero Hour,” said BJD MLA Sanjay Das Burma outside the House.

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