BHUBANESWAR: Proceedings of the Assembly were disrupted again on Monday over the Centre’s decision to change the funding pattern of post-matric scholarship scheme for Scheduled Caste students and the reported entry of CBI into the State Secretariat in connection with the investigation of the chit fund scam. While the change in funding pattern of scholarship scheme was raised by ruling BJD members, Opposition Congress members raked up the issue of entry of CBI into the Secretariat.
As soon as the House assembled for the Question Hour, members of the ruling party stood up and protested the revision of post-matric scholarship fund for SC students by the Centre. Congress members also rushed to the well of the House raising the issue of CBI’s entry into the Secretariat in connection with the investigation of chit fund scam. They were also heard demanding a discussion on felling of a large number of trees for setting up a beer factory in Dhenkanal district.
Unable to run the proceedings, Speaker PK Amat adjourned the House till 3 pm. After the House was adjourned, BJD members sat on a dharna near Mahatma Gandhi statue on the Assembly premises protesting the Centre’s decision and dubbed the BJP-led NDA Government as ‘anti-Dalit’ and ‘anti-tribal’.
The ruling party members displayed a letter written by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik to Union Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Thaawar Chand Gehlot in this connection.
In the letter written on November 17, the CM had stated that the Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment was providing 90 per cent while the State Government contributed the remaining 10 per cent of the actual expenditure on providing a post-matric scholarship to SC students.
Naveen said from 2017-18 onwards, the Ministry has revised the liability of the State Government towards post-matric scholarship wherein the latter has to bear 80 per cent of the total expenditure. The State Government had to provide ` 238.28 crores while the Union Ministry of Social Justice and Empowerment allocated a meagre `35.12 crore during 2017-18. During 2018-19, the State will have to provide `238.28 crores while the Central share has been projected at `49.39 crores, he said.
Noisy scenes continued in the House during the afternoon session over the issue of CBI’s entry into Secretariat on October 29. Raising the issue, Leader of Opposition Narasingh Mishra said, “The State Government should clarify whether CBI had entered the Secretariat and for what reason.” Congress members entered the well again creating a ruckus over the issue following which the Speaker had to adjourn the House.