The monsoon session of the Assembly started on an acrimonious note on Tuesday as the Opposition MLAs stormed the well of the House demanding that remarks made by ruling BJD MLAs against former chief minister and Sundargarh MP Hemananda Biswal should be expunged.
As noisy scenes continued, the House could not discuss an adjournment motion on recommendations made by the State Government for allocation of coal blocks to private parties.
The Congress MLAs trooped into the well shouting slogans after BJD member Samir Dash mentioned during zero hour about the reported allegation against Biswal that he had sought favours from MCL by putting pressure on a company official.
Taking strong exception to the remark of the BJD member in the House, where Biswal was not present to defend, the Congress MLAs demanded that it should be expunged.
Not satisfied with Speaker Pradip Amat’s assurance to examine the matter, the Congress MLAs demanded that the words spoken by the BJD legislator be expunged immediately.
They cited an instance where allegations raised in the House against a prominent BJD MP had been expunged in the past.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kalpataru Das appealed to the Congress MLAs to participate in the House proceedings as the Speaker had promised to examine the matter and not rejected their demand.
However, hitting out at the BJD, Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh alleged that the issue was raised as part of a conspiracy to avoid discussion on the adjournment motion moved by the Congress on the coal issue.
As coal issue is likely to draw direct attack on Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for his letters to the Centre recommending allotment of coal blocks to private companies, the BJD was trying to divert the members’ attention, he claimed.
The Congress members insisted that the House should be adjourned to examine the remarks made by the BJD MLAs against Biswal.
The Congress MLAs cannot participate in the proceedings of the House unless the Speaker expunged the remark, Congress chief whip Prasad Harichandan said.
Several senior members, including Dambarudhar Ulaka (Cong) and K V Singhdeo (BJP), requested the Speaker to adjourn the House and sort out the issue.
The Speaker, however, maintained that he would examine the matter and expunge the unparliamentary words used, if any. But the Congress members were not assuaged by the assurance.
Noisy scenes continued in the afternoon session also over the issue.
Rajendra Chhatria (Cong) wanted to climb on to the Speaker’s podium even as the latter announced that he will give his ruling on the matter on Wednesday.