Bhubaneswar: The BJP moved a breach of privilege notice against Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in the Assembly Wednesday for allegedly calling opposition parties “anti-people” in his “suo-moto” statement in the House September 25 and demanded an apology from him.
Moving the privilege notice, Opposition Chief Whip Mohan Majhi of BJP alleged that Patnaik had made the statement on his own in order to “shield” his private secretary VK Pandiyan, who is in the eye of a storm for his whirlwind tour across Odisha at the cost of the public exchequer.
“There was no demand for discussion on the matter. But the chief minister made a ‘suo motu’ statement. Earlier, the CM’s statements were sought on several issues but he never made any. This indicates that the chief minister was fully prepared to shield his private secretary, who is also known as 5T secretary,” Majhi said.
The BJP leader also accused the chief minister of insulting the opposition MLAs through his statement. “We are elected to the Assembly by the people. How can we be anti-people?” Majhi asked and demanded an apology from the CM.
Majhi wondered how BJP MLAs can be called “anti-people” when Patnaik himself praised Prime Minister Narendra Modi.
Supporting the BJP’s privilege motion notice, Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Narasingha Mishra said “It is unfortunate to call elected representatives of the people anti-people. It seems there is no democracy here. Patnaik has insulted the elected people’s representatives and this is unfortunate.”
Patnaik in his statement Monday said, “Opposition members should be happy that so many grievances in their areas have been resolved. I do not understand how someone can oppose the people’s grievances. Such opposition is anti-people and people will give them a befitting reply for such attitude. After all we are in the service of the public and people’s grievances are our topmost priority.”
Senior Congress MLA SS Saluja moved another privilege notice against state Works Minister Prafulla Mallick accusing him of giving wrong information to the House.
Though the question hour passed off smoothly, ruckus erupted during the zero hour over certain remarks of Leader of Opposition Jaynarayan Mishra of BJP, which was expunged from Assembly record. BJP members created melee in well of the House following this development.
The Congress members too rushed to the well of the House protesting against Speaker Pramila Mallik’s denial of permission to their leader to speak in the House.
As the din continued, Mallik adjourned the House thrice till 4 PM. After the house reassembled she called an all-party meeting to hold discussions for the smooth functioning of the Assembly, but the ruckus continued and the house was again adjourned for half an hour.