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House Begins On Stormy Note

Bhubaneswar: The Budget Session of Odisha Legislative Assembly began with a stormy note on Tuesday with Opposition BJP and Congress created a ruckus in the House over Minister Naba Kisore Das’s murder case and staged walk out during Governor’s address.

Both the opposition parties also criticised the BJD Government over the assassination of Minister in his home constituency of Jharsuguda and also on the prevailing law and order situation in the state.

As soon as the House assembled for the day, Congress Legislature Party leader Narasingha Mishra stood up and targeted the state government for “failing” to protect the life of a sitting Minister following which his party MLAs rushed to the well of the House.

Alleging ‘jungle raj’ prevails in the State, Shri Mishra wanted to know what steps have been taken by the Government for protection of Members of the Assembly and public at large in the wake of the Minister’s murder.  

The Opposition BJP Members who were protesting by standing near their respective seats, later joined the Congress Members in the Well and raised anti-BJD slogans.

As the Governor went on delivering his address to the House, BJP Members first walked out of the House followed by Congress Members.

“We boycott the Governor’s address as he (Governor) is giving a rosy picture on the development of the state. The law and order situation has completely collapsed,” said BJP Chief Whip Mohan Majhi.

Senior Congress Member Suresh Kumar Routray said outside the House: “We have no objection to the Governor. He is a good man. But, the Government narrates a wrong picture in his mouth. Therefore, we boycott the governor’s address.”

The saffron party legislators then staged a sit-in at the entrance of the House holding placards.

Later, both the Opposition parties joined the House and participated in the obituary references passed on demise of the Minister along with two ex-MLAs, Gangadhar Das and Arjun Charan Das.    

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Leader of Opposition Jaynarayan Mishra, CLP leader Narasingha Mishra and CPI(M) leader Laxman Munda participated in the obituary reference.

Speaker Bikaram Kesari Arukha announced the adjournment of the House till 10.30 AM of Wednesday as a mark of respect to the departed members of the House.

Commenting on the Opposition’s boycott of the Governor’s address, senior BJD MLA Debi Prasad Mishra said, “The Governor is not belonging to any political party or government. He is the constitutional head of the state. It is not a good manner to boycott his address when sufficient time is there to raise various issues in the House.”

Meanwhile, Naba Das’s daughter Dipali Das requested all political parties not to politicise his father’s murder case. “Crime Branch investigation is going on under the supervision of a retired Judge. We have faith in the Chief Minister that we will get justice,” she said.

Notably, the Budget session which began today will continue till April 6 in two phases. Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari will present the Annual Budget for the year 2023-24 on February 24.