The winter session of the state assembly came to a premature end today after running for barely 14 days with the speaker Niranjan Pujari adjourning the house sine die.
The session with a short spell of 14 days, the second since the new BJD led government came to power after the 2014 polls, was rocked by bedlam all along. The session was also among the most uneventful in recent years with no adjournment motions tabled. Even the question hour was hugely disrupted with the Opposition and treasury benches hurling allegations at one another.
The winter session beginning November 20, was scheduled to run till December 20. The assembly session winded up without transacting any serious business though the government managed to pass eight Bills without the consultation or participation of the Opposition.
Chief minister Naveen Patnaik blamed the Opposition for the messy scene created in the house.
“It is a pity that the Opposition continuously disrupted the proceedings of the house when so many topics related to the welfare and development of the state were to be discussed. This is very unfortunate. We are prepared to do whatever is within the Rules of Business. But if something is not within the Rules, it cannot be discussed”, Patnaik said.
BJP legislature party leader Basant Panda said, “The ruling party has set a bad precedent by getting the house adjourned midway. The assembly is meant for discussions issues and problems of the common man but the ruling party never allowed that to happen”.
Leader of Opposition Narsingha Mishra said, “The assembly proceedings are witness to the fact that the BJD members rushed to the well during the first nine days and disrupted business. They have stopped the session since they are scared to discuss on the chit fund scam. The CBI investigation has now reached the doorstep of the chief minister. The chief minister himself is also scared of a debate on the chit fund matter.”
On Thursday, the house adopted a motion to curtail the number of working days from 60 mandated earlier despite vociferous protest from the Opposition.
As usual, the house today started on a noisy note with the Opposition seeking to corner the government on the chit fund scam by raising slogans and placards. The unruly ambience forced the speaker to first adjourn the house till 3 pm and later till 5 pm before announcing winding up of the winter session.
Accusing the ruling BJD of stifling the voice of the Opposition due to its brute majority, the Congress MLAs staged a walkout from the house and observed a sit-in-dharana in front of the Mahatma Gandhi statue within the assembly premises. Though the speaker asked the government chief whip Ananta das to pacify the enraged Congress MLAs, they were in no mood to oblige.
After boycott of the house by Congress legislators, the BJP members rushed to the well of the House with tufts of paddy in their hands raising the issue of distress sale of paddy by the farmers in western Odisha and demanding a discussion on the issue.
The current session of the assembly passed a few key Bills despite the pandemonium- the Appropriation Bill, Odisha Open University Bill, Odisha Cooperative Societies Amendment Bill 2014 and the Indian Stamp (Odisha Amendment) Bill 2014.