If you love people, you do not see the post you hold as a post, but as a means to serve the people. You do not see power as power, but as a means to transform the lives of people
Naveen Patnaik, Chief Minister
Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Legislative Assembly (OLA) Friday awarded 24 MLAs and former legislators for their work and contributions.
Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik conferred the awards on the legislators here at a special function organised at Assembly in presence of Assembly Speaker Pradip Amat, Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha.
A selection committee of OLA picked the 24 MLAs who held office from 2009 to 2016 for the awards. The award was not given since 2008.
The MLAs have been felicitated in three categories – Pandit Nilakantha Samman (best legislator of the year), Utkalmani Gopabandhu Samman (best former MLA of the year) and Utkal Gourab Madhusudan Samman (best new MLA of the year).
Addressing the gathering, Naveen said, “I am glad that Odisha Legislative Assembly has maintained the high tradition of honouring distinguished legislators for their contribution to enrich our parliamentary democracy.”
Legislators discharge their responsibilities to fulfill the aspirations of the people and ventilate their grievances by participating in debates and enactment of laws, he said.
Quoting Martin Luther King, Chief Minister told the MLAs, “You cannot lead people, unless you love them.”
“If you love people, you do not see the post you hold as a post, but as a means to serve the people. You do not see power as power, but as a means to transform the lives of people,” he advised.
He wished that more and more young and good people should join politics with the mission of serving people so that they can transform the society for the better.
The Leader of Opposition said, “We all should ensure that the Assembly functions at least 60 days in a year with a productive discussions and debates, which can uplift the lot of the people of Odisha.”
Mishra also suggested that the performances of all MLAs, including the number of hours they remain in the House, what they do on that day, what is the impact of their debate on the government machinery and public, etc should be recorded in the Assembly secretariat.
Pandit Nilakantha Best Legislator Award was conferred on Bishnu Charan Das for the year 2009, Arun Kumar Sahoo (2010), Pravat Ranjan Biswal (2011), Prafulla Majhi (2012), Amar Prasad Satpathy (2013), Pramila Mallick (2014), Ranendra Pratap Swain (2015) and Dr Ramesh Chandra Chyau Patnaik (2016).
The Utkal Gourab Madhusudan Samman was conferred on Surendra Nath Naik (2009), Bimbadhar Kuanr (2010), Nityananda Pradhan (2011), Umesh Chandra Swain (2012), Bikram Keshari Barma (2013), Rajendra Dholakia (2014), Surendra Prasad Pramanik (2015) and Chakradhar Paik (2016).
As many as eight MLAs were presented with the Utkalmani Gopabandhu Samman. They are Sanjay Das Burma (2009), Pritiranjan Gharai (2010), Samir Ranjan Dash (2011), Prashant Kumar Muduli (2012), Bijay Kumar Mohanty (2013), Dr. Raseswari Panigrahi (2014), Captain Dibya Shankar Mishra (2015) and Pradip Purohit (2016).
Interestingly, not a single member from the present Council of Ministers has been selected for the awards. “I think none of us (Council of Ministers) is a good performer in the House,” a senior minister quipped.