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Sparks set to fly in ‘last’ Assembly session before polls


Reported by Chinmaya Dehury
Bhubaneswar, Feb 2:

The last session of 14th Assembly starting from Monday is all set to be stormy with the two main opposition parties Congress and BJP planning to put the treasury bench on the mat by raising the multi-crore mining and chit fund scams.

The opposition thinks the two issues would do enough to tarnish the image of the government ahead of the next elections.

File pic
File pic

However, the ruling party has decided to use its tried and tested weapon of ‘Central neglect’ to defend itself from the opposition attack.

“The leaked out report of the Shah Commission on the massive mining scam has clearly indicted the state government for allowing the miners to loot the mineral resources of the state for years together. Besides, the Supreme Court will soon give a ruling on a CBI inquiry into the chit fund scam, in which many ruling politicians are involved. We will raise these two issues in the Assembly,” Congress chief whip Prasad Harichandan told media persons here on Sunday.

The party today held its legislature party meeting to prepare a strategy to corner the government in what would be the last session for every party before the general elections, likely to be held in April/May this year.

Besides the mining scam, the BJP has decided to raise chit fund scam and farmers’ issues in the house as well.

“The Shah Commission has rejected the ongoing vigilance probe into the mining scam stating that it cannot do a fair probe since officials, miners and politicians were involved in the loot. So, the real face of the government has been exposed. We will raise the issue in a big way, besides we will also take up the distress sale of paddy due to the inefficiency of government,” said BJP legislature party leader Jaynarayan Mishra.

Even with the steamrolling majority it has in the house, the BJD does look highly vulnerable this time. It would seek to deflect some of the criticism on the mining and chit fund scam by tabling the Lokayukta Bill that it had promised to bring in December 2011.

“We will take up several issues like neglect by the Central government after the cyclone Phailin, as also the Central neglect in the Railway sector in the state and highlight what we have done to complete the long delayed Khordha-Bolangir railway line and the royalty on minerals,” said Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik after the party’s legislature party meeting.

The incumbent government will present an interim budget for four months before the elections.

The full budget will be prepared and presented by the new government after the 15th Assembly is constituted.