Bhubaneswar: Amid protests and walkout by opposition BJP and Congress members, Speaker Pramila Mallik Friday adjourned Odisha Assembly sine die Friday, at least 26 business days ahead of its schedule.
The Winter Session of the Assembly which commenced November 21 was scheduled to conclude December 30. The Assembly secretariat had notified about 30 business days during this session.
Government chief whip in Odisha Assembly Prashanta Muduli of BJD brought a motion to adjourn the House sine die for the remaining period. The proposal was supported by treasury bench members Sashi Bhusan Behera and Bhupinder Singh.
The House could transact for only four days of which two days were wasted because of din over the Cabinet’s decision to allow ST people to transfer their land to non-tribals and another day remained closed after making obituary reference to late members of the Assembly.
The MLAs of opposition BJP and Congress, however, strongly opposed the move and staged a walkout to protest against the motion. They dubbed the government’s act as “escapist” and accused the BJD of running out of the Assembly for being unable to face the opposition.
“The treasury bench has lost its courage to face the opposition in the Assembly. When MLAs from across Odisha have come here to raise the issues of their respective constituencies, ending the session abruptly is uncalled for,” Opposition chief whip Mohan Majhi told reporters outside the House.
Congress MLA Tara Prasad Bahinipati too criticised the government. “It is unfortunate for the MLAs, people, and the state that the ruling party runs away from the Assembly. The government ended the session in just four days while it was scheduled for 40 days. This government has murdered democracy in the state,” Bahinipati said.
Rejecting the opposition’s allegation, Muduli said, “The House has discussed one adjournment motion. There is no such important business left. A lot of other MLAs are busy in their respective constituencies. This apart, the decision to end the session was also taken keeping in view the behavior of opposition members in the last two days.”