Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 4:
Congress, the main opposition party in the Odisha Assembly, today moved a privilege notice against English daily ‘The Pioneer’ which published a report critical of Speaker Niranjan Pujari.
Leader of the Opposition Narasingh Mishra said in the House that the opposition cannot close its eyes and ears to what people write and talk about. He said the news report indicated how the Speaker rejected the demand for a debate on the chit fund issue.
The senior Congress leader said that it was the report that was published in the newspaper that had prompted the Opposition to bring the privilege notice for maintaining the dignity of the House. “The Speaker’s role is important,” he said.
“He should not only be impartial, but should also appear to be impartial,” Mishra observed while reading out the contents of the news report directed at the Speaker.
While Speaker Niranjan Pujari, in his reaction on the issue, said that he had no comments to make on the article published in the English daily and added that the privilege notice served by the Leader of the Opposition in the matter is under his consideration.
BJD spokesperson Samir Das said that they welcome the privilege notice served by the Leader of the Opposition as the article published in the English newspaper ‘The Pioneer’, as quoted by the Leader of the Opposition, maligns the dignity of the Speaker’s chair as well as of the House.
Congress chief whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati also raised the issue of the Speaker Pujarihaving been accused of signing a fake caste certificate in the past. “He (Speaker) should not chair the proceeding unless he is cleared of the charge,” Bahinipati said.
Parliamentary Affairs minister B K Arukh came out in defence of the Speaker and informed the House that the Speaker has not signed in the said caste certificate. His signature might have been forged and an inquiry is on in this matter, he added.
Pujari, however, clarified that no investigation is pending against him in the forged caste certificate case.