Strange it may sound, despite all-party support for a separate High Court bench in western Odisha, the first day of the monsoon session saw nine adjournments. Despite unanimity on the issue, politics was played out to the hilt on Tuesday as the monsoon session got off to a stormy start. While the Congress and the BJP disrupted proceedings, the BJD MLAs from Western Odisha staged a dharna near the Mahatma Gandhi statue on the Assembly premises.
The House witnessed noisy protest in the well after obituary references were over with the Congress and the BJP MLAs rushing to the well on the High Court bench issue. The Congress MLAs shouted slogans while the BJP members demonstrated by showing placards. The House had to be adjourned nine times during the day as the din continued. Speaker Pradip Amat adjourned the House twice before lunch. Noisy scenes continued during the post-lunch session.
Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh and Leader of BJP Legislature Party Jayanarayan Mishra raised the issue separately after obituary references were over. Both the leaders demanded that the House be adjourned and a discussion held in the Speaker’s chamber to resolve the matter.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kalpataru Das told mediapersons outside the Assembly that the Opposition members disrupted proceedings to gain political mileage over the issue. “The Speaker had already allowed a debate on the issue. Instead of participating in the discussion, they created pandemonium to gain cheap publicity,” Das said.
The BJD MLAs from Western Odisha, led by former minister Pushpendra Singhdeo, staged a dharna near Gandhiji’s statue supporting the demand. Singhdeo said the BJD MLAs cannot go to the well of the House and disrupt proceedings. He said the BJD supports the demand.