Congress creates ruckus, Speaker adjourns House  

Express News Service | Published: 11th September 2018 02:38 AM
Market Building wears a deserted look during Bharat Bandh in Bhubaneswar on Monday | Irfana

BHUBANESWAR: Congress members on Monday created ruckus in the Assembly in view of the Bharat Bandh called by the party against fuel price hike, forcing Speaker Pradip Amat to adjourn the House till Tuesday. As a result, discussion on the demand for grants of the Home department could not be held.

Earlier, Congress had announced that the party MLAs would not attend the Assembly on Monday in view of the bandh. However, Congress members were present in the House from the beginning to ensure that no business could be transacted on the day. Hundreds of Congress activists led by president of Odisha Pradesh Congress Committee (OPCC) Niranjan Patnaik staged a dharna in front of the Assembly.

They requested all the members and officers not to participate in the Assembly proceeding till 3 pm in support of the bandh. While Patnaik and other Congress leaders sat on a dharna in front of the Assembly gate, party’s women activists made a human chain as a mark of protest.

The House ran for only four minutes as Congress members led by Chief Whip Taraprasad Bahinipati shouted anti-Modi slogans and demanded that the House should be adjourned in support of the Bharat Bandh. The BJP members also shouted slogans and raised alleged Omfed and cooperative bank scams in the State.

The Speaker adjourned the House as the situation became unmanageable. The House was adjourned when Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was about to reply during the Question Hour.Describing the disruption of Question Hour in the House on a regular basis as unfortunate, BJD Member Samir Dash told mediapersons outside the Assembly that the Opposition members should refrain from resorting to such tactic on a daily basis.

BJP Member Pradip Purohit alleged that the Speaker adjourned the House as BJD supported the Bharat Bandh called by Congress indirectly.Stating that the bandh called by Congress evoked total response, the OPCC president thanked the people of the State for their support. Patnaik criticised the Centre for its indifference towards the demand to bring petrol and diesel under the purview of the GST to bring down prices. Besides, he demanded that the State Government should reduce VAT on petrol and diesel.

Bandh has little impact: BJP
Odisha unit of BJP on Monday said the bandh has little impact on the people of the State. Union Tribal Affairs Minister Jual Oram said the bandh call given by the Congress was an attempt to get public attention. However, the people are intelligent enough to understand the reason of fuel hike which largely depends on external factors. While the previous UPA Government had put a burden on the nation by selling oil bonds, the Congress is trying to deflect public attention from its past failures. Justifying the imposition of Central excise on petroleum products, Oram said funds generated from taxes are utilised on development works. It is equally the responsibility of the State Government to reduce VAT on petrol and diesel as done by other States like Rajasthan to provide relief to the people.

Normal life affected in Cuttack
Congress workers led by its city unit president Mohammed Moquim staged road blockade at Jagatpur Square, OMP Square, Madhupatna, Badambadi bus stand and in front of Collectorate. They also staged rail roko at Cuttack railway station obstructing the movement of Chennai Express and Trivandrum Express. Activists of CPI, CPM and SUCI also took out a joint rally from Cuttack Railway Station to Collectorate. Prominent business centres of the city, including Malgodown, Chhatra Bazaar, Krusak Bazaar, Choudhury Bazaar, were closed. With buses remained off roads, Badambadi bus stand wore a deserted look leaving passengers stranded. At least 20 platoons of police force were deployed to check untoward incidents during the bandh. 

Mine production hit
All industries and power plants like NTPC, NALCO, JSPL, JITPL in Angul functioned normally but eight coal mines were paralysed at Talcher. There was no production or dispatch from Talcher coalfield as Congress workers staged demonstration at all the mines. Official sources said a loss of one lakh tonne of coal production was reported from the mines and no coal was sent to any of the power plants in the country from Talcher coalfield.There was no impact of the bandh on Gopalpur Port in Ganjam district.

Paradip: In Jagatsinghpur district, production in Paradeep Phosphates Ltd (PPL), IFFCO and Paradip Refinery of IOCL was affected. At the Paradip Port, agitators locked the administrative building gate and prevented workers from entering the office. They also staged demonstration outside the fertiliser plants, IFFCO and PPL. Fertilisers from the plants could not be transported as train and truck movement was paralysed.  Construction works and production in Paradip Refinery and Essar steel plant was forcibly stopped by the agitators and they did not allow workers to enter the refinery. Cargo operation at Paradip Port remained unaffected. 

PM hoarding torn down
In Malkangiri town, Congress workers tore some hoardings of Prime Minister Narendra Modi that were put up near fuel filling stations. In Nabarangpur, party workers entered the collectorate in presence of police personnel and asked the workers to vacate the office. The bandh was total and peaceful in Dhenkanal, Puri, Rayagada, Nayagarh, Jeypore, Berhampur, Kendrapara, Gajapati, Athagarh. Rail traffic was affected in Balasore as strike supporters detained trains at Balasore and Jaleswar stations. Hundreds of trucks remained stranded on NH 16 and NH 60. 

Tags : Congress Bharat Bandh

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