Congress seeks President intervention as BJD continues to stall House

The Congress members drew attention of Mukherjee saying that there are a number of pressing issues for discussion like 'police firing on tribals' at Kandhamal.

By: PTI | Bhubaneswar | Published:September 22, 2016 4:34 pm

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Seeking resignation of Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for allegedly failing to ensure smooth functioning of the Assembly due to ruckus by the ruling BJD members, Opposition Congress today sought the President’s intervention to uphold the Constitution and law of the land.

As the House remained paralysed for the second consecutive day over the Mahanadi and Polavaram issues, Congress lawmakers suspected it as a part of a “well hatched conspiracy”.

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“We demand resignation of the Chief Minister as he failed to run the House. His party members have been creating ruckus leading to disruption of the proceeding. The Speaker is also not acting in a neutral manner,” Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra of Congress told reporters.

“It is clear that the Speaker is hand in glove with the ruling party as he blatantly fails to maintain neutrality. There is every reason to believe that the Chief Minister, the Speaker and others conspired not to allow the proceeding of the House and to adjourn the same,” state the letter to President Pranab Mukherjee signed by 13 of the 16 Congress MLAs.

This is not that the treasury bench members who stalled proceeding of the House, they too did not bother to respect the National Anthem. “When the national anthem was being played yesterday, the ruling BJD members rose to their feet, shouted slogans and disrupted the proceeding in the House,” the letter said.

Claiming that the Opposition was in utmost restraint during the developments, the President was informed that the Leader of Opposition had on Wednesday given a notice for discussion on the Mahanadi issue.

Though the Leader of Opposition stood to speak on the notice after the national anthem, he was not allowed by the Speaker. The House was adjourned, the party members said.

“The Chief Minister was present all through when the unruly scenes were orchestrated and he did not intervene. At no stage, the Speaker explored the possibility of resuming the business of the House either by calling for the Business Advisory Committee or representatives of all the parties to his chamber. The disruption of the House by the ruling party members continued on the second day today,” the letter said.

The Congress members drew attention of Mukherjee saying that there are a number of pressing issues for discussion like “police firing on tribals” at Kandhamal, malnutrition in various parts of the state such as Nagada, Kashipur and others, farmer suicide and indebtness, non-payment of crop insurance money to farmers due to drought, lack of basic health care, Kalahandi tribal Dana Majhi carrying body of his wife on shoulder and others.

“It is apparent that the ruling party with its brute majority is hell bent on not conceding any ground to Opposition to have their say and bring to the fore the issues pressing the masses,” the release said.

The Congress members added that there is no instance anywhere in India, either in Parliament or in any state assemblies wherein the business of the House has been disrupted when national anthem is being played.