Bhubaneswar, Mar 17: As the Odisha Assembly on Wednesday failed to transact any business and witnessed ruckus over “mismanagement” in paddy procurement and suicide bid by a BJP MLA in the House, the BJD sought the governors intervention while opposition parties wanted the chief minister to perform his duty as the leader of the House. No businesses were transacted in the House for the fifth day in a row as members of the BJD, Congress and the BJP continued to make their demands.
While the treasury bench members demanded the BJP MLA Subhas Panigrahi tender an apology for attempting to die by suicide in the House, the opposition Congress and BJP raised questions on Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s silence over the stalemate. “The House is stalled by BJD members and the chief minister is not seen in the Assembly. We urge him to perform the duty of as the Leader of the House. We will go on searching the chief ministers whereabouts,” Leader of the Opposition P K Naik of the BJP told reporters.
The Congress and the BJP have separately sent letters to Patnaik seeking his intervention to resolve the stalemate and come to the rescue of the “suffering” farmers. “We want you (CM) to discuss the farmers’ issues.Your personal intervention is essential to resolve this sensitive issue. However, neither you come to the House nor speak on the issue concerning the entire state,” a letter signed by all the BJP MLAs and addressed to the CM read.
Congress Legislature Party leader Narasingha Mishra also wrote to the chief minister seeking his intervention. “It is your responsibility to intervene for smooth conduct of the House. Attempts by the Speaker to bring the House in order have failed,” he said, In a democracy, the ruling party is not supposed to create ruckus in the House demanding action against a member of the opposition party, Mishra said. “If the Speaker feels that a member has committed breach of privilege, action can be taken against him,” he said in the letter.
“To give confidence to farmers that their paddy will be purchased, your intervention is a must. I therefore appeal to you to call an all-party meeting to assure the farmers that no farmer will suffer while procuring paddy,” the letter read. Meanwhile, BJD members marched to Raj Bhavan and sought the intervention of Governor Ganeshi Lal to upkeep the dignity of the Assembly, which they alleged has been tainted by a BJP member who attempted suicide inside the House.
The BJD members alleged that Panigrahi’s suicide bid by attempting to drink sanitiser has brought a bad name to the Assembly as well as the state. “We bring to the kind notice the shameful, cowardly, illegal criminal, cheap and immoral act of the BJP lawmaker in the August House on March 12,” the memorandum read Being a national party, the BJP should counsel Panigrahi, treat him, make him realise his mistake and apologise to people.
“Instead the support being rendered by the state party including their party observer and glorifying this act has shocked the conscience of the people of Odisha. It is an insult to the emotions and suffering of those who have lost their loved ones to this cowardly act,” the BJD wrote in the memorandum. The BJP leadership and its state in-charge D Purandeswari on Tuesday said that the party is proud of Panigrahi for being prepared to sacrifice his life for the interests of farmers who have been a victim of government apathy.
Earlier in the assembly, members of the ruling and opposition parties shouted slogans, displayed banners, attempted to climb the Speakers podium creating a noisy scene. Unable to run the House due to the noisy protest in the well, Speaker S N Patro adjourned the House several times.
The Speakers all-party meeting has also failed to yield any result as both the groups are adamant on their respective demands. In the midst of the din, Deogarh MLA Subhas Panigrahi said he is ready to apologise, but the government must lift all the farmers’ paddies and address their problems.
Cooperation Minister R P Swain also said the government is ready to purchase the paddy of genuine farmers and not the traders.
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