Bhubaneswar: At a time when the elected representatives from different corners of the state are given a chance to bring important issues to the attention of the government during Zero Hour of the Assembly, some MLAs seem to be interested in something else.
Despite the caution and warnings given by House Speaker Surya Narayan Patro to the legislators not to use mobile phones inside the House, many seem to be finding it difficult to refrain themselves from using the electronic gadget even when important issues are discussed.
On Friday, during Zero Hour, when the House was busy discussing rising cases of crimes against women, the recent rape cases, the issues with lesser convictions and other issues, at least three MLAs from the treasury benches sitting in the fourth and fifth row were found using their mobile phones. They were seen constantly glancing at them while the Opposition parties were firing salvos at the government for failing to check crimes against women and the ministers defending their government.
This seems to be a normal affair during the Zero Hour when many MLAs are seen skipping the session while some others are noticed looking at or using mobile phones. Most of the ministers, including Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, are also seen refraining from attending the Zero Hour sometimes when matters of urgent importance are discussed and local issues are raised.
When issues under Adjournment Motions are discussed, the total on seat attendance is also seen falling to as low as 35 per cent in the current session. This comes at a time when a huge amount of taxpayers’ money is invested in running the House to ensure healthy debates and also to raise important local and state issues inside the House.
Manish Kumar, OP