BHUBANESWAR: The first day of the monsoon session of the Assembly on Wednesday was a washout with the ruling BJD members creating ruckus over Mahanadi and Polavaram issues leading to adjournment of the House for the day.
Soon after the House assembled, members of the treasury benches shouted slogans against the Centre as well as the Chhattisgarh and Andhra Pradesh governments over irrigation projects constructed by the two States on the Mahanadi and Godavari rivers respectively.
BJD member Byamakesh Ray was the first to stand on his seat and shout on top of his voice at a time when the National Anthem was being played in the House.
Though Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra of the Congress tried to speak something, he was not allowed by Speaker Niranjan Pujari.
The Speaker tried in vain to stop the ruling party members from shouting as the National Anthem was played. He adjourned the House till 3 pm immediately after the National Anthem.
With a tendency to play to the crowd, the BJD MLAs, including ministers, marched towards Raj Bhawan and submitted a memorandum to Governor S C Jamir, addressing the President on the issue. Taking a potshot at Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Mishra told reporters that it was a conspiracy by the Leader of the House to thwart the Assembly from discussing issues not palatable to the ruling party.
“The BJD MLAs have shown disrespect to the National Anthem at the behest of the Chief Minister who was present in the House during the incident. This is not acceptable as per law and practice of the House,” Mishra remarked.
They continued to do so even after the Speaker made a gesture to stop shouting as the National Anthem was being played as per the convention.
The most unfortunate thing is that the members who show disrespect to National Anthem were not punished. Even they were not admonished by the Speaker, Mishra rued.
The Leader of the Opposition had given a notice to the Speaker requesting him to suspend the question hour for a discussion on the Mahanadi water dispute which was more important for the people of the State.
As the House reassembled at 3 pm, it again witnessed an uproarious scenes as members of the ruling party shouted slogans. Without allowing the Leader of Opposition to speak, the Speaker again adjourned the Assembly for the day.
The BJD, however, refuted the Opposition allegation saying they have highest regards for the National Anthem.
BJD spokesman Amar Prasad Satpathy admitted that a member of his party shouted slogan in the House, but it was much before the National Anthem was played.