BHUBANESWAR : The six-day old Assembly logjam was finally resolved on Thursday following an all party meeting convened by Speaker Surjya Narayan Patro where it was decided that Food Supplies and Consumer Welfare Minister Ranendra Pratap Swain will make a statement on status of paddy procurement in the State at 11.30 am on Friday.
A special privilege committee will also take up the issue of BJP MLA Subash Panigrahi trying to commit suicide in the House by consuming sanitiser.
“I will announce the formation of a privilege committee in the House tomorrow. The committee will take up the case of Panigrahi and give its opinion. I hope that the House will function normally hereafter,” Speaker Patro stated.
The impasse was broken on the back of events which saw BJP MLAs marching to Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s residence and the latter coming out and taking them inside for talks. Alleging that the Chief Minister was “missing” even as the Assembly was stuck in a stalemate, the BJP members walked towards his residence Naveen Nivas, in what they termed as an attempt to “find him”.
They searched different rooms in the Assembly before hitting the road. Naveen has been mostly attending the ongoing session virtually.
Several BJD MLAs also accompanied the BJP legislators but the latter sat on a dharna in front of the Naveen Nivas after they reportedly found the gates shut.
High drama was witnessed when a group of ministers and BJD MLAs tried to persuade the protesting MLAs off the dharna.
In the midst of all this, Naveen himself walked out of the gates of his residence and invited the protesting legislators inside for discussions on how to end the stalemate and resolve the paddy procurement issues.
Coming out from the discussion, leader of the Opposition Pradipta Kumar Naik said that the BJP members placed their demand and said that normalcy can be restored in the House only after procurement of paddy.
Even as the BJP MLAs were marching towards Naveen Nivas, more than 50 BJD MLAs urged the Chief Minister through video conference from the Lok Seva Bhavan to take steps to end the deadlock in the House. The Congress MLAs, on the other hand, sat on a dharna in front of the statue of Mahatma Gandhi on the Assembly premises demanding discussion on the issue of paddy procurement.
Earlier in the day, the Assembly started on a noisy note as usual with the Opposition BJP and Congress members creating a ruckus inside the well of the House over large scale irregularities in paddy procurement. The BJD MLAs also protested from their seats demanding apology from the BJP MLA over the suicide attempt. The Speaker adjourned the house first till 12 pm and then till 4 pm as the proceedings could not be run due to the noisy scenes. The all party meeting was convened after the House resumed following which the Speaker announced the decisions.