The Assembly on Friday witnessed noisy scenes when Opposition Congress accused ruling BJD and its supremo Naveen Patnaik of indulging in horse-trading in the Rajya Sabha polls in the State.
Alleging that induction of Independent MLAs Jitu Patnaik from Champua and Braja Pradhan from Talcher in the BJD a day before the Rajya Sabha polls was a “fraud on democracy,” Leader of the Opposition Bhupinder Singh criticised Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for resorting to unethical practice to win elections. It is a rare incident in which proposer of a candidate crosses side and joins the rival candidate’s party, Singh said and alleged that the Chief Minister violated all norms by announcing two Independent MLAs as associate members of BJD a day before the Rajya Sabha polls.
“Thursday’s incident proved that the Chief Minister can do anything to win the polls. Is it not horse-trading to bring two Independent MLAs in the party fold a day before the Rajya Sabha elections?” Singh asked during zero hour.
Pradhan and Patnaik, however, clarified that they decided to become associate members of BJD to expedite development activities in Talcher and Champua.
Rejecting the Opposition charge of horse-trading, Patnaik said, “It is Congress which used to indulge in horse-trading...I supported the ruling party for effective development of my constituency.” He demanded that a CBI inquiry should be ordered to find out which Congress leader has taken how much money for the Rajya Sabha polls and who is funding the Congress Rajya Sabha expenses. Similarly, Talcher MLA Pradhan said there is no question of allurement for Rajya Sabha polls. Pradhan said he has supported an Independent candidate.
‘RS Polls Expose BJD-BJP Nexus’
Union Minister of State for fertilisers Srikant Jena on Friday said that the Rajya Sabha polls has exposed the nexus between the Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP)in the State.
Congratulating Congress MLAs for their solidarity despite many allurements from BJD, Jena said that the election result is the beginning of downfall of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.