Opposition Congress on Monday staged a walk-out in the Assembly protesting the State Government’s failure in bringing the Odisha Reservation of Vacancies (in the posts and services) Act Amendment Bill.
Initiating the discussion on demand for grants of the Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes Development Department, senior Congress leader Chakradhar Paik sought to know from the Government when the Bill to amend the ORV Act will be introduced.
“During the winter session of the Assembly, the ST and SC Development Minister had promised to introduce the proposed Bill in the Budget Session of the Assembly. But the draft bill is yet to be cleared by the Law Department,” Paik said.
Five members of the Congress party sat on a dharna in the well of the House protesting delay in introducing the proposed amendment Bill. They ignored the request of Speaker Pradip Amat for cooperation to ensure smooth transaction of business of the House.
Scheduled Tribes and Scheduled Castes Development Minister LB Himirika once again assured the Assembly that the proposed Bill will be taken to State Cabinet shortly. Not satisfied with the Minister’s reply, the Congress members walked out.
Replying to an adjournment motion during the Budget Session last year, Himirika had told the House that the proposed draft amendment has been sent to the Law Department for approval.
“I want to inform the House that due process has been initiated to amend the ORV Act and the matter will be placed before the Cabinet shortly,” he said.
Major changes proposed in the ORV Act include abolition of dereservation for base-level posts, application of reservation for all contractual appointments, the practice of switching posts between SC and ST due to non-availability of candidates and special drive to fill up the reserved vacant posts.
The Minister assured the members during the winter session last year that a Bill to amend the ORV Act will be introduced in the budget session after basic formalities are over.
Alleging a large number of vacancies in posts reserved for scheduled categories, Opposition Congress members attacked the Government for its lack of will to amendment the existing ORV Act to ensure that the vacant posts are filled up in time.
On the number of steps taken to provide better education to the tribal students, the Minister said hostel facilities had been created for three lakh students. The Government is planning to set up 14 more Plus Two science colleges in addition to the existing 19 including 11 Ekalavya Model Residential Schools.