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BJP rejects Odisha govt panel to study legislative council

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Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Jan 9:

The BJP today threw a spanner in the Odisha government’s plans to constitute a State Legislative Council the party today rejecting the five- member committee formed by the state government to study the functioning of legislative councils in other states questioning the process adopted for formation of the committee.

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“It seems the government is in a tearinng hurry to form the legislative council to rehabilitate its members who lost the election or did not get the party ticket. It has not even bothered to inform the BJP member who has been made a member of the committee, the legislatiture party leader or even the party president, who is also a member of the House from Ppatnagarh, before announcing the decision,” BJP legislature party leader in the state assembly Basant Panda said today.

Panda said an all party meeting should be called over the issue. “We would have accepted it had it been done by the Speaker,” he said.

Ideally, it is the party which should nominate the member in the committee and not the government, the Nuapada MLA said.

Reacting to the BJP decision, Parliamentary Affairs minister Bikram Keshari Arukh said, “We have included members from BJD, BJP and Congress as per the democratic procedure. They will visit Maharashtra and Karnataka and submit their suggestions by the end of this month. We are following the high traditions of democratic principles and hope that the nominated members will be part of the committee and tour as scheduled.”

On January  7, Arukh had announced the five- member committee to study the functioning of legislative councils in other states.

While Nrusingha Sahu, Pramila Mallick and Manohar Randhari from the ruling BJD were named as the committee’s members, Bhujbal Majhi was named from Congress and Nitesh Gangdev from the BJP.

The minister had said that the five-member committee will visit Maharashtra and Karnataka later this month to study the functioning of the legislative councils there and submit a report to the government by the end of this month.

The opposition BJP and Congress were critical of the state government’s decision to go for a legislative council in the state and had termed it as a rehabilitation scheme for many new entrants into the BJD who need to be satiated by the party to keep the flock together.