Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 16:
The winter session of the Odisha assembly that began on December 1 came to an abrupt end today. Even though the house was scheduled to function till December 26; Speaker Niranjan Pujari today adjourned the house sine die citing lack of business to carry on the session.
Quite like the last day of monsoon session, the house today operated without opposition leaders as major opposition parties including Congress, BJP and CPI-M refused to join the proceedings demanding that the Speaker must reconsider his decision on the suspension of Opposition Deputy Chief Whip Naba Das.
Das had been suspended for a week yesterday for allegedly watching porn in the house on the day before. He, however, was not given a chance to explain his stance as we reported here.
While the opposition parties kept up the pressure on the government on the second day today by not attending the house, an all party meeting chaired by the Speaker to break the logjam failed. Besides, Minister Damodar Rout also joined the bandwagon of critics and expressed his displeasure over the way proceedings of the house are conducted.
“In the mobile phone incident, a motion was brought against MLA Naba Das and he was suspended for seven days. This issue could have been taken up some other day too. Given a motion had been moved on Biju Babu, we could have adopted it first and then discussed the Naba Das issue,” said Rout speaking to reporters today outside the assembly.
He was referring to the discussion on the motion moved by Government Chief Whip Ananta Das that took place without the opposition today.
“It is painful to see the absence of opposition members in the House when we are holding a discussion on a personality like Biju Patnaik. Heaven would not have fallen had the decision been deferred by two more days. The way the proceedings of the house are being run is not appropriate and hurts an aged member like me,” he added much to the embarrassment of the ruling party.
Ananta Das, however, refused to comment on Rout’s statement.
“He is a senior member of the house. He has been in politics for a long time now and is also a minister of the government. I would not like to comment on his statement,” said Das.
Even as ruling party tried to play down the matter, both Congress and BJP stepped up their attack on the government given the opportunity.
“The house was discussing Biju Babu. I would say that he was a great leader but the Chief Minister is very small. Minister Damodar Rout today made a statement on the floor of the house and expressed his dissatisfaction over the way the house is being conducted. This statement is like a slap on the Chief Minister’s face,” said Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra.
“This is a design of the government to bar us from taking part in the discussion pertaining to Biju Babu. The ruling party clearly doesn’t want the opposition to be part of such discussions,” said Odisha BJP President KV Singh Deo.
On the other hand, ruling party MLAs passed a resolution in the house seeking Bharat Ratna for Biju Patnaik, urging the Union Government to observe his birth centenary next year and set up his statue inside the Parliament premises. The MLAs also passed the ‘Odisha District Planning Committees (Amendment) Act – 2015’ in the absence of opposition today.