BHUBANESWAR: Opposition members on Monday created noisy scenes in the Assembly demanding a ruling from the Speaker over the State Government’s failure to circulate bills written in Odia language in the House.
The issue cropped up soon after the Odisha Police Bill, 2015 and Odisha VAT (Amendment) Bill, 2015 were introduced in the House during the afternoon session before presentation of the Budget.
The Opposition members rushed to the well shouting slogans after Speaker Niranjan Pujari allowed presentation of the Budget.
Congress chief whip Taraprasad Bahinipati climbed onto the Speaker’s table while other Opposition members continued slogan shouting in the well even as Finance Minister Pradip Amat started reading the Budget speech. The Opposition members walked out in protest when the Finance Minister continued reading the Budget speech in the din.
Alleging that the ruling party is trying to suppress the voice of the Opposition because of its brute majority, Leader of the Opposition Narasingh Mishra said the Speaker had asked the Government in his ruling on December 5, 2014 to make all efforts to circulate bills written in Odia among the members. Besides, the Chief Secretary had also written to Secretaries of all departments in this regard in 2012, he said and asked whether three years are not sufficient for the Government to prepare bills in Odia language.
Stating that there was no urgency in introducing two important bills in the House, Mishra asked how the members, who do not know English, will understand the bill provisions.
He said the Speaker should take the matter seriously and direct the State Government to provide bills written in Odia to all members at least during consideration stage.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha, who introduced the Odisha Police Bill, 2015 and Amat said the Government will take steps to implement the Speaker’s ruling as early as possible.
Later, Arukh announced that bills written in Odia will be distributed among the MLAs before the consideration stage as per the directive of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.