The Opposition Congress stalled the proceedings in the Assembly for the second consecutive day on Tuesday over the alleged police excesses on student wing activists of the party and a journalist during a demonstration demanding arrest of former law minister Raghunath Mohanty, accused in a dowry torture case lodged by his daughter-in-law.
The House met for only 15 minutes during the day and the Appropriation Bill was passed without any discussion in 13 minutes. The Opposition members also boycotted the lunch hosted by Finance Minister Prasanna Acharya in protest. ‘’We have decided to boycott the lunch in protest,’’ Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh told mediapersons. ‘’The manner in which the State is being run, we decided to boycott it,” BJP State president K V Singhdeo said and asked, “how can you have lunch with them.’’
The House plunged into turmoil as soon as it assembled for the day with the Congress MLAs rushing to the well raising anti-government slogans condemning police highhandedness on student activists and a scribe during the demonstration in front of the Chief Minister’s residence on Monday.
Holding Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik responsible for the alleged police excesses, Bhupinder demanded his resignation. He alleged that police beat up Chhatra Congress activists who were demanding the arrest of former minister Mohanty and the resignation of Minister of State for Higher Education Badrinarayan Patra over plus-two examination question paper leak.
Singh told mediapersons outside the House that the havildar whom the Congress activists allegedly beat up had entered Congress Bhavan chasing the Chhatra Congress supporters. Nobody had taken him inside as alleged, Singh said and added that police had also attacked partymen without any provocation during September 6 parivartan rally last year.
While the Congress members rushed into the well, the BJP MLAs registered their protest by shouting anti-government slogans. Speaker Pradip Kumar Amat first adjourned the House till 12 noon from 10.32 am and then till 3 pm. When the House reassembled at 3 pm, the Congress MLAs again created noisy scenes in the well. The House was adjourned for the day after passing the Appropriation Bill amidst pandemonium.