Bhubaneswar: The Budget Session of the State Legislative Assembly was on Friday adjourned sine die six days ahead of its schedule, after passing the Appropriation Bill, 2023. The session was scheduled to continue till April 6.
Amid walk out by BJP and Congress members, the House passed the Appropriation Bill, 2023, allowing the State Government to spend Rs 2.30 lakh crore from its consolidated fund during the financial year 2023-24.
From the beginning day on February 21 to till last day (Friday), the House witnessed pandemonium several times as opposition legislators created noisy scenes raising different issues including Minister Naba Kishore Das murder case, Mahanadi water dispute, inter-state border dispute, fake certificate racket, Rahul Gandhi’s disqualification, Chief Minister read out speech, alleged matric question paper leak, ‘officers’ raj’, drivers’ strike, etc.
During this session, the government has introduced six bills, but passed only the Appropriation Bill, 2023. However, it has withdrawn three bills in a hurry on the last day amid ruckus by opposition BJP and Congress members.
The bills are Right to Fair Compensation and Transparency in Land Acquisition, Rehabilitation and Resettlement Amendment Bill, 2023, Odisha Apartment (Ownership & Management) Bill, 2023 and the Odisha State Commission for Backward Classes (Amendment) Bill, 2023. Three CAG reports were presented before the House during the session.
Sources said, the Government is likely to bring these Bills through ordinance route as there is no time to discuss the Bills in the House.
On the other hand, Opposition BJP and Congress MLAs created a ruckus in the House today also over the fake certificate racket in Bolangir and Kotia border dispute issue, Friday.
Unable to run the House smoothly, Speaker Bikram Keshari Arukha adjourned the House several times throughout the day. In protest over the two issues, the opposition members walked out during the discussion of Appropriation Bill, 2023.
Raising the twin issues during the zero hour, the opposition members rushed to the well of the House and shouted slogans against the state government over the issues.
Leader of Opposition Jayanarayan Mishra (BJP) raised both the issues and alleged that Andhra Pradesh is interfering in Kotia area and 21 other villages in Koraput district. The BJP leader claimed that Andhra Pradesh Deputy Chief Minister is luring local people in the area.
“Andhra is interfering in Kotia and 21 other villages. Andhra deputy CM is luring local people. Where is the Kotia package announced by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik? What steps have been taken in border row with other states?” asked the BJP leader.
He further questioned the role of Subrat Chatoi (Vanik institute head in Bhubaneswar) in supplying computers to 5T schools?
A fake certificate racket running in a coaching institute was busted in Bolangir district of Odisha. What is the relation between Vanik institute and the fake certificate running institute?, asked Shri Mishra.
Similarly, Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Narasingha Mishra said a fake certificate racket was reported in Bolangir. The racket is not only confined in Bolangir but also in different parts of the state. Even the chain has gone outside Odisha, he said.
The Congress leader alleged that photos of a Minister and a former Minister along with the prime accused in the fake racket have gone viral.
Countering the opposition, senior BJD member Arun Sahoo accused BJP and Congress leaders of enacting drama over the Kotia issue. The BJP members should go to the Centre and raise the issue. They have eight MPs and three central ministers, Shri Sahoo said.
On the fake racket issue, Sahoo showed a picture in which the prime accused and Narasingha Mishra were seen sharing the stage.
Quickly reacting to the picture shown by Shri Sahoo, the Congress MLA Shri Mishra said he is ready to face the investigation. Will the Chief Minister, the Minister of State (MoS) for Home and ex-Minister will submit to the investigation?, he asked.
Following the face-off between the opposition and treasury bench members, the opposition members went to the well of the House and the opposition members tried to climb the podium of the Speaker and distributed the proceedings.
Despite repeated appeal by the Speaker, opposition members continued their protest. Unable to run the House, the Speaker allowed withdrawal of three Bills introduced during this budget session and adjourned the House till 4 p.m.
The situation remained the same in the post-lunch session too. Due to the steep protest by the opposition members, the House witnessed four adjournments. Though the Speaker has called an all-party meeting, no conclusion arrived from the meeting.