BHUBANESWAR: The budget session of the Odisha Assembly beginning from Friday is likely to be stormy with the opposition BJP and Congress planning to corner the ruling BJD over a range of issues, including crime against women, failure in paddy procurement and attacks on RTI activists in different parts of the State. However, Chief Minister and BJD supremo Naveen Patnaik said the Government is ready to take any question from the opposition parties on the floor of the House. Addressing the meeting of the BJD Legislature Party (BJDLP) on Thursday, the Chief Minister underscored the need for the presence of all members in the House during the session and participation in the proceedings.
The BJD will raise several issues during the session including reduction of Central assistance to the State, demand for a caste-based census during the 2021 census and Central neglect of Odisha, the latest being the slashing of allocation in the railway budget. Leader of the Opposition (LoP) Pradipta Kumar Naik said the BJP will raise several issues including alleged scam in Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana, deteriorating law and order situation, growing atrocities against women and children, drinking water crisis and shortage of doctors in hospitals. Criticising the anti-farmer policies of the Government, Naik alleged that paddy is not being procured at the mandis as a result of which farmers are suffering.
Congress is likely to raise the issues like percentage commission practice (PC culture) in Government works, reduction in Central assistance to the State and ‘secret nexus’ between the BJP and the BJD. Leader of the Congress Legislature Party Narasingh Mishra said the Congress will demand a discussion on deteriorating law and order in the state, prevailing corruption at all levels of the Government and farmers’ issues. Mishra said the farmers are suffering as the Government does not have space to store paddy. Besides, mill owners are being involved in paddy procurement, he said and added that law and order situation has deteriorated.
Alleging that jungle rule is prevailing in Odisha, Mishra said rape, murder, robbery and theft have increased. An all-party meeting was convened by Speaker Surya Narayan Patro on Thursday for smooth conduct of House proceedings during the budget session. “My instruction to the legislators will be to abide by the rules and regulations so that the Assembly can run in a disciplined manner,” he said.The Assembly session will be held in two phases from February 14 to April 9. Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari is scheduled to present the 2020-21 State Budget in the Assembly on February 18. Governor Ganeshi Lal will address the House on the first day of the session.