Odisha Budget Session Begins With Bedlam, Walkout

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Bhubaneswar: The first day of the budget session of the Odisha Assembly was adjourned till Wednesday due to a ruckus by the Congress members.

Bedlam prevailed in the house after the opening address by Governor Ganeshi Lal, when Speaker Surya Narayan Patro allowed the leader of the opposition (LoP), Pradipta Nayak, to deliver his address.

Protesting the Speaker’s act, irate Congress members rushed to the well of the House shouting “BJD-BJP bhai bhai” and sought a clarification from him on this matter. Later, the Congress members staged a walkout from the Assembly.

The Congress members, who returned to the house later, again shouted slogans and disrupted the proceedings. After failing in his efforts to calm down the Congress members, the Speaker adjourned the House till Wednesday.

Talking to mediapersons after the adjournment of the house, the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader, Narasingha Mishra, said there was a procedure in announcing the name of the Opposition leader. “The BJP should send the application along with the resolution to the Speaker to announce the leader of the Opposition. When I raised this issue in the House, the Speaker seemed to act like a ‘deaf’ person. If our protest is not heard by the Speaker, we will decide our future course action at the CLP meeting this evening,” he added.

Expressing surprise, Mishra said how could the government chief whip propose the vote of thanks to the Speaker’s decision for allowing the Opposition leader to deliver his address? “It is now clear that BJD and BJP are in a nexus, though they have not declared it openly. Moreover, allowing one Rajya Sabha seat to BJP bears ample testimony to their close relationship. This is the reason why the Governor in his address did not talk about the Central neglect towards Odisha,” Mishra pointed out.

In his reaction, senior Congress leader Suresh Routray said the Speaker has no knowledge on how to manage Assembly proceedings.

Opposition leader Pradipta Nayak said as the BJP legislature had given the application to the Speaker, he might have addressed him as the opposition leader after coming to know from the media.

Government Chief Whip Pramila Mallick said the office of the Speaker was apprised of the name of the opposition leader.

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