Lokayukta appointment delay rocks Odisha Assembly 

The Assembly on Monday witnessed noisy scenes and was adjourned several times after the question hour over delay in appointment of Lokayukta.

Published: 27th March 2018 03:26 AM  |   Last Updated: 27th March 2018 06:23 AM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: The Assembly on Monday witnessed noisy scenes and was adjourned several times after the question hour over delay in appointment of Lokayukta and implementation of Odisha Lokayukta Act in the State with the opposition members demanding either a ruling from the Speaker or a clarification from the Chief Minister in this regard.

Raising the issue during zero hour, Leader of the Opposition Narasingh Mishra wanted to know why the State Government has not so far appointed Lokayukta and implemented the Odisha Lokayukta Act even though the Bill got President’s assent in 2015. Stating that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik had announced to implement Odisha Lokayukta Act within six months of getting President’s assent but that has not been acted upon, Mishra wanted to know the reason behind the delay.

Mishra said as per the provisions of Lokayukta Act, the old Odisha Lokpal Act would remain in force till the new Act is implemented. However, there has been no appointment to the post of Lok Pal also after Justice PK Hota and it has remained vacant for the last four years. Mishra alleged that he has raised the issue at least a dozen times in the Assembly and written several letters to the Chief Minister in this regard without any response.

Soon after Congress MLAs, led by party’s chief whip Taraprasad Bahinipati, rushed to the well of the House demanding a statement from the Chief Minister in this regard.As some of them tried to climb on to the Speaker’s podium and started shouting slogans in the well, Speaker Pradip Kumar Amat adjourned the House till 12.30 pm.

When the House reassembled, leader of the BJP legislature party KV Singhdeo also the raised the issue and demanded a ruling from the Speaker in this regard. As the Congress MLAs continued slogan shouting in the well, the Speaker adjourned the House again till 3 pm.

Noisy scenes continued during the afternoon session also as the Leader of the Opposition insisted on either a ruling from the Speaker or a statement from the Chief Minister over the issue. However, as there was no response from the Speaker, Congress and BJP members staged a walk out. The Odisha Municipal Laws Amendment Bill, 2018 was passed in the absence of the Opposition.

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