Bhubaneswar, Aug 23 :
It was ruling Biju Janata Dal’s turn on Friday to disrupt the proceedings in the assembly.
As soon as the day’s session began with the question hour, BJD MLAs rushed to the well and raised slogans condemning the UPA govenrment’s anti-Odisha stance on the special state category state ( SCS ) status issue. Many of them chose to stand near their seats and display banners on the same SCS demand.
Not to be outdone, the Congress members added to the din by shouting at the treasury bench and blaming the BJD government for sleeping over the matter all this while.
The Speaker adjourned the House till 12.30 pm and then to 3 pm when there was no improvement in the situation.
Bent upon making capital out of the issue, the ruling party MLAs along with some ministers staged a dharna under Mahatma Gandhi’s statue inside the assembly premises in support of the special category state demand. Asked if it was right for ministers to join the protest dharna, Finance minister Prasanna Acharya said ” We are Odias after all “.
It was Union minister Rajiv Shukla’s statement in the Rajya Sabha on Thursday ruling out Odisha’s claim to special category state status which appears to have come as a godsend for the BJD. Earlier in the day the party staged protests in Bhubaneswar and several parts of the state over the SCS demand.
Ridiculing both BJD and Congress for their ‘drama’, the BJP legislature party leader Jaynarayan Mishra said the state assembly had passed a unanimous resolution demanding special category status for Odisha and every party supports the idea. “ If we have failed to achieve the SCS status so far, it is because the state government lacks sincerity and the Centre does not take Odisha seriously”, Mishra said.
Leader of Opposition and Congress leader, Bhupinder Singh, on the other hand, criticised the BJD government for trying to hijack a common cause after sleeping over the matter for 13 long years.
“ What was BJD doing when it was a part of the NDA government at the Centre ?”, Singh asked.