The Odisha Assembly was adjourned thrice today as the Opposition Congress members raised an uproar over the soaring prices of petrol and diesel.
As soon as the House assembled for the Question Hour, the Opposition Congress members demanded a discussion on the fuel price hike. The Congress MLAs, under the leadership of party’s chief whip Taraprasad Bahinipati, rushed to the well of the House and protested against the fuel price hike.
Unable to run the house amid the uproarious scenes, Speaker Pradip Kumar Amat first adjourned the House till 11.30 am, then till 12.50 pm and later till 3 pm.
Raising the matter during Zero Hour, Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra blamed both the Centre and the state government for the soaring fuel prices.
A litre of petrol here now costs Rs 73.05, while the rate is Rs 70.24 for diesel.
“While the central excise rate was Rs 3.56 per litre of petrol during the UPA regime, it has been Rs 17.33 per litre now. The Centre’s earning from excise duty was now Rs 2,42.691 crore in 20160-17 against Rs 77,982 crore in 2014,” Mishra said.
Slamming the BJP-led NDA government, the Congress leader asked: “Would it be wrong to say that NDA was shedding crocodile tears during UPA government.”
The Congress leader also blamed the state’s BJD government for not suggesting the Centre to bring petroleum products under the purview of GST. “Let the finance minister make a statement on the state’s stand on bringing petroleum products under the purview of GST,” said Congress chief whp Taraprasad Bahinipati.
Government Chief Whip and senior BJD leader Amar Prasad Satpathy said that the NDA government has hiked the excuse duty on petrol and disel at least nine times in the last four years.
BJP’s Rabi Naik said that the state government should reduce the rate of VAT on petrol and diesel in order to give relief to the people.
While allegting a custodial death in Nayagarh district, Naik took a dig at the state government over the deteriorating law and order situation. He cited the death of a youth at Madhyakhanda Outpost in Daspalla in Nayagarh district.
He said the Madhyakhanda Outpost police had picked Kalia Kathua of Simili Sahi of Daspalla area on April 16 and kept him inside the lock-up. However, on the same night, he sustained severe burn injuries. Police later admitted him to SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack where he succumbed to his injuries on April 20.
“While the family members have alleged that Kalia was burnt to death by the police, the cops, on the other hand, has said the deceased had tried to commit suicide by pouring kerosene on himself,” Naik said.
He urged the Speaker to direct the chief minister to institute a high-level probe into the incident.