The Odisha Assembly was adjourned till March 29 on Friday in wake of the coronavirus outbreak. While Congress members supported the motion, BJP lawmakers opposed the move, saying the situation in the state does not warrant such a drastic move.
Earlier in the day, legislators from the BJD and Congress assembled on the Assembly grounds, and joined by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, they washed their hands thoroughly to demonstrate how to prevent the spread of coronavirus. Prior to the exercise, the state government held a detailed conference for briefing MLAs.
Later, BJP leader and Leader of the Opposition Pradipta Naik told journalists, “This is their old practice.. a discussion on Yes Bank and government deposit in other private banks would have exposed the government.”
He added that suspension of the Assembly signals a “conspiracy”, considering Parliament and various other state assemblies are functioning. “The most vulnerable places are bus stands, railway stations, airports and ports. Will the government shut them down?” Naik said.
Dismissing the charges as “politically motivated”, the ruling BJD said that Patnaik has always been on the forefront of tackling any natural or public health calamity. “There is no cure for this disease… social distancing is the only way to tackle this problem,” said a BJD spokesperson.
Meanwhile, Patnaik informed that the Cabinet has declared Covid-19 as a disaster for the state under Disaster Management Act, 2005.
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