BHUBANESWAR: Even as the government is facing heat over the Nayagarh minor girl murder case with the BJP baying for Agriculture Minister Arun Sahoo’s removal, the Winter session of the Odisha Legislative Assembly was adjourned sine die on Sunday, more than 30 days ahead of schedule. The session was to end on December 31.
Speaker SN Patro adjourned the House sine die after the passage of Appropriation Bill of Rs 11,200 crore amid ruckus by the BJP. As the House took up discussion for the Appropriation Bill, the BJP members were seen shouting slogans in the well of the Assembly.
Leader of the Congress Legislature Party Narasingha Mishra initiated the discussion on the Bill. Some BJP members attempted to climb onto the Speaker’s podium even as the Congress members maintained that there is no point in disrupting the proceedings after the Odisha government announced a High Court-monitored Special Investigation Team (SIT) for the case.
The Speaker had to adjourn the House first till 11. 30 pm and later till 3 pm as the BJP members were in no mood to relent and participate in discussion. Similar scenes were witnessed when the House reassembled for the afternoon session.
Government Chief Whip Pramila Mallik moved a proposal for adjournment of the session for an indefinite period which was supported by Parliamentary Affairs Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha and BJD MLA Amar Prasad Satpathy. The BJP and Congress opposed it accusing the BJD government of evading the House due to fear of opposition parties.
While the Leader of Opposition Pradipta Naik staged a walkout protesting the decision, Mishra called it “unconstitutional”. Naik said the BJP members met Governor Ganeshi Lal and apprised him about the sine die adjournment of the session about 30 days ahead of its schedule. The BJP MLAs also staged a dharna near the Mahatma Gandhi statue on the premises.
The fifth session of the 16th Assembly failed to fulfill the criteria of minimum 60 days of sitting in a calendar year. The House could meet for only 30 days, half of the mandated duration, in 2020. As the Assembly had only achieved 20 days during the third and fourth sessions this year, the government had prepared a 40-day schedule for the Winter session beginning November 20.
Ever since the Naveen Patnaik-led government came to power in 2000, the State legislature has fulfilled the 60 days sitting norm on only three calendar years - 2006, 2010 and 2012. The State government introduced nine Bills in the session, of which seven were passed.