Bhubaneswar, Dec 7:
The State Assembly was adjourned till Monday after Opposition members stalled the proceedings demanding a reply from chief minister Naveen Patnaik on the steps taken by the state government in the tragic death of Itishree Pradhan, lady teacher of Tikiri Upper Primary school in Rayagada district.
As soon as the House reassembled at 3 PM, the leader of the Opposition Bhupinder Singh demanded a ruling from Speaker Pradip Kumar Amat as to why the House was adjourned without taking up the Itishree case.
At this, government chief whip Pravat Tripathy said the government took strong exception to the meagre Central aid of only Rs 250 crore to the state for post-cyclone rehabilitation and reconstruction work, which has deeply hurt the sentiments of the people of the state.
Supporting his party colleague, Parliamentary Affairs minister Kalpataru Das said the Speaker has the power to suspend or adjourn the House if he finds that it is in disorder. He also asked the Opposition why it had stalled the House for two consecutive days from the date of commencement if it was so keen about taking up the Itishree case for discussion.
Protesting the remarks of Das, Congress members rushed to the well of the House shouting anti-government slogans. Following the commotion, the Speaker had to adjourn the House twice for 15 minutes.
As soon as the House reassembled, the leader of the Opposition Bhupinder Singh along with Opposition chief whip Prasad Harichandan rushed to the well of the House and staged a dharna on the reporters’ table demanding a reply from the chief minister on Itishree case.
This is said to be the first incident in the history of the State Assembly when an Opposition leader staged dharna on the reporters table.
“I would continue my dharna till the chief minister makes a formal announcement to give his reply on the case” Singh said.