Bhubaneswar: Alleging ‘Officer Raj’ is going on in Odisha, opposition BJP and Congress members created a ruckus in the Assembly Saturday due to which the House witnessed several adjournments throughout the day.
The Opposition members started raising slogans against the government for not taking any action against Koida BDO over his unruly behaviour with an MLA, soon after the House assembled.
CPI-M legislator Laxman Munda raised the issue during Question Hour and rushed to the Well of the House. The BJP and Congress MLAs supported him, and the Assembly could not function.
“Even as the Speaker has ordered an inquiry into the allegation, the BDO is going about saying he has strong connections,” said the CPI-M leader. He requested the Speaker to transfer the BDO within 24 hours.
The Speaker had to adjourn the House till 11.30 a.m. amid pandemonium by the Opposition.
When the House reassembled again for Zero Hour, Congress Legislature Party leader Narasingha Mishra said Minister Rita Sahu had met the Chief Secretary to hand over a cheque as a contribution to the Chief Minister’s Relief Fund (CMRF), which is against the democratic spirit.
“Ministers are part of the government. But in this government, there is no respect for the ministers. Will the officials go to the government or the government will go to the officials?” he questioned.
Alleging Odisha is being run by bureaucrats, the Congress leader said: “Democracy is being disrespected in broad daylight.”
Mishra demanded Sahu’s apology in the House and wanted the Chief Secretary to express regret in the matter.
Reacting immediately, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Niranjan Pujari defended the ministers by saying that it was a one-off case. He dared the Opposition to show proof on other ministers.
Pujari also said that the Opposition’s allegations were aimed at trimming the powers of the ministers.
Following the face-off between Opposition and treasury bench members, the Speaker adjourned the House for 15 minutes.
Later, when the House reassembled, BJP legislators created ruckus while showing a picture of Pujari standing with folded hands in front of a private secretary to the CM.
The Chief Minister was also seen seated in a chair in the picture.
Both the opposition BJP and Congress MLAs again created a noisy scene in the House forcing the Speaker B.K. Arukha to adjourn the proceedings till 4 pm.
The Minister could have handed over the cheque to the CM or she would have invited the Chief Secretary to his chamber for the same, Leader of Opposition Jayanarayan Mishra told reporters outside the House.
Though the transport minister was asked to make a statement in the House over the recent ‘drivers’ strike’, the chief secretary held a meeting with the drivers in the absence of the transport minister, secretary and commissioner.
Later, Pujari said that he was wishing the Chief Minister with folded hands and not to the private secretary who was standing behind the CM.
When the House met at the post-lunch session at 4 p.m., the Opposition continued their protest demanding transfer of the Koida BDO.
Unable to run the House, the Speaker called an all-party meeting, adjourning the proceedings for 15 minutes.
Later, on the instruction of the Speaker, the Parliamentary Affairs Minister made a statement in the House saying the government took the matter seriously and was examining for taking immediate action. After this statement of the Minister, normalcy returned to the Assembly.
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