BHUBANESWAR: The budget session of the Assembly started on a stormy note with the Congress members boycotting the Governor’s address to the Assembly alleging assault on democracy and Constitution during Panchayat polls. As soon as Governor Murlidhar Chandrakant Bhandare began his address to the House, Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh was on his feet alleging misuse of Government machinery, use of money power and distribution of liquor by the ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) during panchayat polls.
The way the just-concluded three-tier panchayat polls was held was a matter of concern not only for Opposition parties, but also for the people as it mounted an assault on the Constitution and democratic system due to unfair means adopted by the BJD, the Congress leader claimed.
Singh continued with his speech even as the Governor advised the Congress members to pay homage to the departed former members. As Singh led the walkout by Congress leaders opposing Bhandare’s address, the Governor outlined the policies and performances of the Government highlighting its achievements. However, the Opposition BJP members remained in the House during the Governor’s address. Stating that there has been all-round development of the State, the Governor said that the State Government has initiated action to prepare the 12th Five-Year Plan for 1212-17, with a projected outlay of ` 1,00,000 crore and an outlay of `17,000 crore has been proposed for the annual plan of 2012-13. The State Government has made substantial strides on management of public debt, he said, adding that it has been able to reduce net debt stock from 55.92 per cent of GSDP in 2001-02 to 21 per cent of GSDP in 2010-11, thereby saving the desired level of 25 per cent recommended by 13th Finance Commission.
After the Governor’s address was over, Congress members objected to the manner in which Nationalist Congress Party (NCP) MLA Nabin Nanda was attacked during a repolling of panchayat booth in his constituency Gondia on Monday. The Congress and the BJP members walked out over the issue. The BJP, members led by Jaynarayan Mishra, walked out demanding a debate on the security of MLAs.