BHUBANESWAR: After staging a night-long dharna near Mahatma Gandhi statue on the Assembly premises, BJP MLAs on Sunday called off the agitation following a request by party’s Odisha Saha Prabhari and Rajya Sabha MP Vijay Pal Singh Tomar.
Justifying their actions inside the Assembly on Saturday that prompted Speaker SN Patro to suspend three BJP MLAs, Leader of the Opposition, Pradipta Naik told reporters that the BJP members will meet Governor Ganeshi Lal at Raj Bhawan on Monday.
"We will request the Governor not to give his assent to the bills passed in the Assembly in a hurry without allowing the opposition members to participate in a discussion," Naik said.
Holding the Speaker responsible for the unpleasant situation in the House that saw hurling of slippers and microphones at the Speaker’s podium, Naik said such an incident would not have occurred had Patro allowed the opposition to present their opinions.
"The Speaker stifled the opposition voice at the behest of the leader of the House Naveen Patnaik by not allowing the Opposition to speak while passing the bill in the House. Even the Leader of Opposition was not given an opportunity to speak. This is undemocratic and unconstitutional," he said.
“He (Patro) seemed to be under pressure from others to not hear us out,” Naik alleged.
Questioning the impartiality of the Speaker in the State Assembly, Opposition chief whip Mohan Charan Majhi and senior member Jayanarayan Mishra said they are prepared to apologise to the people of the state if they are hurt by their behaviour.
Mishra, however, made it clear that they wouldn't do the same to the Speaker as he has failed to do his job in a democratic manner and as per the rules of the House.
Asked if the hurling of shoes, dustbin and earphone at the Speaker is justified, Mishra said there was no alternative. “After all, we are all human beings and we have emotions. When you feel that your legitimate rights are curtailed, you will obviously react,” he reasoned out.
The leader of the Congress Legislature Party, Narasingha Mishra, who met the agitating BJP members at the dharna site earlier in the day, came down heavily on the state government for its undemocratic activities. “I strongly condemn the manner in which the state government passed the bills in the house yesterday without allowing the opposition members to participate in the discussion. This is grossly undemocratic and unconstitutional,” he added.