Bhubaneswar, Aug 20 :
The state assembly failed to conduct any business beyond obituary references on the opening day of the monsoon session and had to be adjourned till Wednesday following uproar over the demand for a permanent bench of the High Court in Western Odisha.
Noisy scenes leading to 8 adjournments marked the beginning of the monsoon session today. Soon after the brief obituary session in honour of former MLA Maheshwar Barad who died recently and 3 security personnel who were killed in action, Opposition MLAs trooped into the well and disrupted the question hour proceedings over the demand for a permanent bench of the High Court in Western Odisha, forcing the Speaker to adjourn the House till 12.30 pm.
The House witnessed pandemonium as soon as it assembled at 12.30 pm with Opposition members shouting slogans and displaying posters condemning the state government’s indifference towards the longstanding demand for a permanent bench of the High Court in Western Odisha. The Speaker had little option than to adjourn the House further till 3.30 pm.
MLAs from Western Odisha then marched to the Mahatma Gandhi statue in the assembly premises to sit on a dharna.
With the Opposition in no mood to relent, the House had to be adjourned till Wednesday.
“ The state government is responsible for the situation. It did not pay heed to the repeated demands by the lawyers and the people of Western Odisha for a permanent bench of the High Court. The lawyers had, on July 28, announced their decision to launch an agitation from 20 August but the state government refused to address their grievance. It’s they who are responsible if civic polls can not be conducted in Western Odisha ‘, a visibly angry Opposition and senior Congress leader Bhupinder Singh said.