BHUBANESWAR: The first day of second phase of the Budget session of the Assembly on Tuesday witnessed noisy scenes with the Opposition Congress and BJP protesting the Speaker’s decision not to allow discussion on chit fund scam.
Opposition members rushed to the well and protested against Speaker Niranjan Pujari’s decision as soon as the House assembled for the question hour. The Opposition demanded discussion on an adjournment motion given by it on chit fund scam in which ruling BJD members including Ministers were allegedly involved.
Pujari adjourned the House at 10.32 am till 3 pm as Opposition members tried to climb onto the Speaker’s podium. Both the Congress and BJP members staged a walkout from the House in protest against the Speaker’s decision in the afternoon session.
When the House met after lunch at 3 pm, Leader of the Opposition Narasingh Mishra asked how can the Speaker deny permission for discussion on an issue which has created division in the Council of Ministers.
The BJP, which demanded immediate resignation of Minister of State for Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Sanjay Dasburma, also wanted the State Government to inform members about the progress made in return of money to gullible small investors.
“The BJP wanted discussion on the matter in the House for the larger interest of thousands of poor investors,” BJP MLA Pradip Purohit told mediapersons outside the House. The State Government had announced that it will start disbursing money to small investors from March 15, but it has failed to do so, he said.
Outside the House, BJD member Pratap Jena, however, said the Speaker denied permission for discussion on the chit fund scam as it is sub-judice. “Whatever the issue may be, we must respect the ruling of the Speaker,” BJD spokesperson and party MLA Sashibhusan Behera said.
When the Opposition members walked out of the House, the Speaker allowed presentation of reports of standing committees on different departments.