Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Aug 28:
A day after boycotting the monsoon session, a team of Congress leaders led by Leader of Opposition in the Odisha Assembly today called on Governor SC Jamir and apprised him of the developments in the House. The BJP members too followed suit and boycotted the House today.
“We met the Governor and expressed our views and apprised him of the developments in the Assembly yesterday. We informed him that we had discussed the issues in the House as per his advice. When we discussed the issue of the High Court remark against Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, it was expunged from the proceedings, which is anti-democracy. When we discussed about the problems of teachers’ in the House, the visitors’ gallery was evacuated 30 minutes before schedule time violating the norms. This is the government’s way of ensuring that the people do not know about or listen to discussion on topics that can go against it. In the later stage, when the Odisha Land Grabbing (Prohibition) Bill-2015 was being discussed, the Bill was amended unanimously after long discussions. The necessary amendments to the clauses of the Bill to protect the interests of landless and poor people were done. But, the minister brought a motion in the House to withdraw the amendment and the copy of the motion was also not given to anyone. The Speaker supported the government in violating the Constitution,” Narsingh Mishra said.
Before meeting the Governor, the Congress legislature party met here this morning.
“If you go by the duration, the Opposition has consumed the maximum time of proceedings in terms of percentage. You would have noticed that Speakers allows maximum Opposition members to participate during discussions. The allegations against the Speaker are baseless. The Opposition do play a role in the functioning of the Assembly and the government has tried its best to take them along to run the House smoothly,” BJD spokesperson Samir Dash said.
Earlier in the day, proceedings of the House began in the absence of Opposition members. The Speaker adjourned the House till 3 pm and urged the Opposition members to return to the Assembly. While the Congress MLAs decided to boycott the monsoon session of the Assembly yesterday, the BJP legislators today followed the suit.
The saffron party leaders sat on a dharna near the Gandhi statue in the Assembly premises in protest against the passage of four Bills yesterday.
“The two facets of democracy are ruling party and the opposition parties. The Speaker should give equal emphasis on both without any bias. He should be above any party as he is the Speaker of the House and elected by the members. It is unfortunate that the Speaker is supporting the ruling party and stifling the voice of Opposition. We have decided to boycott the remaining two days of the current session of the Assembly,” BJP legislative party leader Basant Panda said.
Both the Opposition parties had boycotted the proceedings yesterday while the House was discussing the Odisha Land Grabbing (Prohibition) Bill-2015.
Congress legislators drew the attention of the Speaker demanding an explanation on some of the clauses of the Bill yesterday. However, it was not accepted and the Bills were passed without discussion.
Announcing the party decision to boycott the remainder of the session, LoP Narasingh Mishra alleged that the House runs at the whims of the chief minister and not as per the rules.