Bhubaneswar, Dec 12:
The state assembly was adjourned for the day by the Speaker as soon as the Appropriation Bill was passed in a hurry amid din on Thursday.
The House witnessed uproarious scenes when it met at 3. 239 pm. Angry Congress members demanded an official statement by the Revenue minister about the actual amount of Central assistance for the post-disaster relief and reconstruction work in the state.
The Revenue minister Surya Patro first revised his earlier statement in the House saying the state had received Rs 750 crore in two instalments from the Centre towards post-cyclone and flood relief & reconstruction work. He said the first istalment of Rs 250 was received onNovember 29 and the second instalment of Rs 500 crore came on December 3.
This led to an uproar as Congress members wanted to confront the minister for misleading the House all this while on the actual amount of Central assistance. But the Treasury bench which appeared defensive on the issue was clearly unwilling to discuss the matter at length.
Instead, it pressd for the Appropriation Bill to be passed and that happened in just 11 minutes.
The Speaker then lost no time in adjourning until 10.30 am Friday
The Congress members then marched to the Gandhi statue to sit on a brief protest dharna.
Senior Congress MLA and Opposition Chief Whip Prasad Harichandan said the state had received Rs 750 crore from the National Disaster Relief Fund on December 3 and the state already had an unspent amount of Rs 250 crore in the State Disaster Relief Fund.
He alleged that the BJD government had lied not only to the public but had also tried to mislead the House by saying that all it had got from the Centre towards post-disaster assistance was just Rs 250 crore.
“We will not let the government get away with such blatant lies and will demand teh resignation of the Revenue minister,” he said.
The ruling BJD which, by all accounts, is trying hard to avoid any confrontation on this issue, would like to see that order does not return to House too soon.
” Now that the Appropriation Bill is through, the Treasury bench will not mind if the House does not function any further, “a senior BJD leader told OST.