Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Assembly today witnessed adjournments over delay in appointment of Lokayukta for the second consecutive day as Opposition Congress members staged a sit-in near the Speaker’s podium over the issue.
As soon as the House assembled for the day, several Congress MLAs, including Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra and party’s Chief Whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati, were seen staging a dharna near the podium protesting delay in appointment of Lokayukta and implementation of Odisha Lokayukta Act in the state.
Speaker Pradip Kumar Amat requested the Congress members to occupy their respective seats and cooperate in the proceedings. As the MLAs kept sitting near the podium, Amat adjourned the House till 11.30 am.
When the House reassembled, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members sat on a dharna near the Speaker’s podium while Congress members raised the issue by standing up near their seats forcing the Speaker to adjourn the House till 3 pm and later till tomorrow.
“The state government, which in 2014 claimed to have become the first state in the country to pass the Lokayukta Act, is yet to appoint Lokayukta. The government knows that if the Act is implemented, the Chief Minister and Ministers will be entangled as all are mired in scams,” said Congress member Prafulla Majhi outside the House.
“The Chief Minister never leaves a chance of saying that he is running a transparent government. But the fact is that all officials and Ministers are involved in scams and corruption as a result the government is developing cold feet to appoint Lokayukta in the state,” said BJP MLA Pradeep Purohit outside the House.
Ruling Biju Janata Dal MLA Dibya Shankar Mishra criticised the opposition for disrupting the House proceedings. “It is unfortunate that the Leader of Opposition sat on a dharna near the podium. The state government is taking steps to appoint Lokayukta,” said Mishra outside the House.
Ruckus over the issue had marred House proceedings yesterday also as Congress and BJP members created din demanding either a ruling from the Speaker or a clarification from the Chief Minister in this regard.
The Leader of Opposition had yesterday opposed delay in appointment of Lokayukta and implementation of Odisha Lokayukta Act even though the Bill got President’s assent in 2015.