Congress, BJD stall proceedings in assembly over Narendra Modi's poverty remark on Odisha

Dash was supported by other ruling party legislators, including Priyadarshi Mishra who were on their feet criticising the Prime Minister's statement.

Published: 25th February 2017 08:18 PM  |   Last Updated: 25th February 2017 08:18 PM   |  A+A-

Prime Minister Narendra Modi | PTI

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: Ruling Biju Janata Dal (BJD) and opposition Congress members today stalled the proceedings of assembly over Prime Minister Narendra Modi's 'poverty' remark on Odisha at an election rally at Gonda in Uttar Pradesh on Friday.
Noisy scenes were witnessed from the beginning of the question hour as Congress members rushed to the well of the house shouting slogans. No business could be transacted and there were repeated adjournments as the BJD members also created ruckus over the issue.
As soon as the house assembled for the day, Samir Ranjan Dash (BJD) raised the issue and described the Prime Minister's remark of 'acute poverty and starvation' in Odisha as "unfortunate" which amounted to an "insult of the people of Odisha".
Dash was supported by other ruling party legislators, including Priyadarshi Mishra who were on their feet criticising the Prime Minister's statement.
Opposition Congress also came out in support of the ruling BJD to oppose the Prime Minister's comment. Congress Chief Whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati described it as "shameful and inappropriate".
As the BJD legislators were also seen proceeding to the well, Speaker Niranjan Pujari adjourned the house till 11.30 AM at 10.32 AM.
When the House assembled yet again, noisy scenes were witnessed with Congress legislators storming the well and shouting slogans. Unable to run the House, Pujari adjourned the proceedings till 12.30 PM and again till 3 PM.
Noisy scenes continued in the afternoon session and the house was adjourned from 3 pm to 4 pm, 4 pm to 5 pm, 5 am to 5.30 PM and again from 5.30 PM to 6 pm. The house was adjourned for the day after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's reply to the debate on motion of thanks to the Governor's address.
Earlier, ruling BJD MLAs staged a dharna near Mahatma Gandhi's statue in the Assembly premises protesting against the remark. Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra told media persons outside the house that Modi had tried to derive political mileage using poverty in Odisha.
BJP, however, dismissed the criticism with party legislator Pradip Purohit claiming that people of Odisha have realised that the Naveen Patnaik regime had failed on all fronts.
The Prime Minister in his election speech at Gonda said, "Odisha, where there is so much poverty, starvation, unemployment and where the BJP did not even have foothold to place its flag, people have given so much support that everyone is taken aback. Even the poor of Odisha have come with the BJP".


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