Congress Stalls House, Wants Minister to Quit

Assembly witnesses noisy scenes over wrong information provided by SN Patro on Central assistance

Published: 14th December 2013 11:17 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th December 2013 11:17 AM   |  A+A-

The Assembly witnessed noisy scenes for the second day on Friday over the wrong information provided by Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Surjya Narayan Patro on Central assistance to Odisha for reconstruction activities in cyclone and flood-hit areas as the Congress members occupied the well of the House demanding the Minister’s resignation.

The House could not transact any business and met for only 21 minutes during the day as the Congress members showed banners castigating the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) for ‘giving wrong information’ to the people deliberately.

Speaker Pradip Amat had to adjourn the House till Monday as the Congress members did not return to their seats despite repeated requests. As the House met for the day at 10.30 am, the Speaker adjourned it within 30 seconds till 11.30 am.

As the House reassembled, several BJD members tried to come to the rescue of the beleaguered Minister by arguing that the assistance provided by the Centre is inadequate. Raising the issue, Government chief whip Prabhat Tripathy said that the State Government submitted two memoranda to the Centre seeking `5,832 crore assistance.

But the Centre treated Odisha and Andhra Pradesh on a par and announced `1,000 crore interim assistance for each of the two States though only one district was affected by Phailin in the neighbouring State, he said.

Tripathy said that from 2000 to 2013, the State Government sought assistance of `25,430.5 crore from the Centre for natural calamities, but received only `2,442.02 crore, which is less than 10 per cent.

 He said that the State Government got information about `500 crore assistance at 2.14 pm on Thursday and the Minister revised his statement in the House likewise.

Deputy chief whip Sanjay Dasburma also alleged that the Centre has always shown step-motherly attitude towards Odisha and this time it was no different. Central assistance for Assam and Uttarakhand was announced by the Centre on the same day of the calamity and Prime Minister Manmohan Singh visited both the States, he said. His party colleague Ranendra Pratap Swain criticised the Prime Minister for not visiting the State after the cyclone.

The Speaker adjourned the House from 11.41 am to 3 pm as slogan shouting by Congress members continued. The House witnessed similar scenes when it reassembled at 3 pm, forcing the Speaker to adjourn it till Monday at 3.10 pm.

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