Bhubaneswar: The first day of the second phase of the crucial Budget session of the Odisha Legislative Assembly on Wednesday grew stormy with Opposition Congress members accusing the State Government of keeping the house in dark on the drought package and surrender policy for Maoists.
The issue was raised as the House assembled for the day.
Accusing the State Government of keeping the House in dark, the Leader of the Opposition, Mr Bhupinder Singh of the Congress said that the Special Relief Commission (SRC) office had issued a notice on drought package for the farmers on February 29. The State Government could have informed about the package in the House before the first session of the House was adjourned.
“The Government is not taking the House into confidence. They could have made the announcement in the Assembly before SRC issuing the notice. We came to know about the package from the media on March 2,” Mr Singh said.
The Congress members demonstrated in the well and clashed with the watch and ward staffs in their attempt to rush onto the Speaker’s podium in protest against the unrelenting Deputy Speaker Sanand Marandi who was conducting the proceedings. This had affected transaction of the Question Hour and led to adjournment of the House for 48 minutes in the morning session.
The scene was repeated when the House reassembled. In a bid to pacify the irate Congress members Revenue and Disaster Management Minister S N Patro made a clarification on the issue.
Patro said that the Government had not dishonoured the House by announcing the drought package as it was just a repetition of the facts announced by the Government in the House during the Winter Session of the Assembly in December last year. Besides, the package could not be announced as the model code of conduct was in force due to the Panchayat elections and restriction imposed by the State Election Commission.
BJP leader K V Singh Deo and NCP leader Amar Prasad Satpathy sought the Minister to give details of the communication between the Government and the SEC on the issue. The SEC cannot impose restriction on providing calamity relief assistance, they said.
But protesting against the Government’s claim that it did not “dishonour” the House, the Congress members staged a walkout.