BHUBANESWAR: Even as Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik claimed that the State was largely peaceful and Maoist violence has come down in Odisha drastically, he avoided several questions raised by the Opposition members on the deteriorating law and order situation while replying to a discussion on the demand for grants of the Home Department in the Assembly on Thursday.
Leader of the Opposition Narasingh Mishra, who initiated the discussion, wanted to know why the Lokayukta is yet to be appointed by the State Government even though President Pranab Mukherjee gave assent to the bill one and a half years back.
Mishra recalled when the Lok Pal Bill was discussed in Lok Sabha, the Chief Minister had announced that Lokayukta will be appointed in Odisha within three years. When the Lokayukta Bill was passed in the State, the CM took credit for it by saying Odisha was the first State to pass such a legislation.
“The Act will come into force after Government issues notification. However, the State Government is yet to be notify it and the CM completely avoided the question raised by me,” he said.
Mishra also asked why the State Government did not appoint a Lok Pal after the demise of Justice PK Patra. “But there was no reply from the CM for this question also,” he said and added that Naveen will have to explain why he is afraid of a Lokayukta.
The Chief Minister also ignored the demand by Mishra on the establishment of a permanent bench of High Court at Balangir. “Why is he not fixing the place of sitting bench and avoiding the issue,” he asked and alleged that the Centre is also not taking any step because of the vague report written in this regard by the Chief Minister to the Centre.
The Leader of the Opposition said, the Chief Minister did not clarify the question raised by him regarding the Government recommendation to abolish State Administrative Tribunal (SAT). The Chief Minister also did not respond to Mishra’s question as to why the State Government is yet to reintroduce Odisha Police Bill which was reported to have been sent back by the Governor for reconsideration.
Besides, the chairman post of State Human Rights Commission (SHRC) also remains vacant. But, the Chief Minister failed to give a reply in this regard also, he said.
On the issues of lowest conviction rate in Odisha in the entire country and growing crime against women, the CM’s reply was unconvincing, he said.