With opposition Congress and BJP insisting on a discussion on chit fund scam in the Assembly for the past 14 days, the Naveen Patnaik government Friday cut short the winter session of the Assembly, at least a fortnight ahead of the schedule.
The session was adjourned sine die after Speaker adopted a motion in this regard moved by government chief whip Ananta Das.
The Assembly session has not been able to function since it started on November 20 with opposition members demanding discussion on chit fund scam. The ruling BJD members have also added to the pandemonium by raising slogans on how the central government has neglected Orissa and its people affected by cyclones Phailin and Hudhud. Since the past 13 days, the House has had hardly any meaningful sitting.
Protesting the early adjournment of the House, Congress MLAs walked out of the Assembly and sat on a dharna before the statue of Mahatma Gandhi. “The ruling party has no respect for democracy,” said Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra of Congress.
BJP MLAs led by their legislature party leader Basant Panda too walked out of the House after failing to draw attention of the Speaker on distress sale of paddy in western Orissa districts.
Last week, Speaker Nianjan Pujari turned down the demands for chit fund scam discussion citing an advice from advocate general S P Mishra that it cannot be done as the matter was sub judice. The Opposition was quick to attack the government and the AG, alleging that the AG had once worked as a counsel for the Seashore Group, a key player in the chit fund scam. The BJP members even gheraoed the residence of the AG in protest.
With the prospect of more and more BJD leaders getting sucked into the chit fund probe looming, government chief whip Anant Das Thursday moved a motion for reducing the sitting days of the Assembly in a calendar year.