Bhubaneswar: The first day of the winter session of the Odisha Assembly Wednesday began on a stormy note as the opposition BJP and Congress members shouted slogans in the Well of the House demanding a discussion on rising cases of sexual assault of women in the state.
As Speaker SN Patro went ahead with the Question Hour immediately after the obituary reference made to the departed members of the House, the opposition members demanded suspension of the Question Hour and discussion on the rising cases of sexual assault of women in the state.
Unable to run the House in face of the loud protests in the Well, the speaker adjourned the House proceeding till 3:00pm.
Leader of Opposition, Pradipta Kumar Naik of BJP and Congress Legislature Party Leader Narasingha Mishra stood to speak on the women issue at the same time. However, the Speaker did not allow anyone to express their views and asked Agriculture Minister Arun Kumar Sahoo to reply to a question.
This irked the opposition members who rushed to the well of the House and shouted slogans against the BJD government while Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was present in the House.
While asking Mishra to raise the issue during Zero Hour, the speaker said there is a procedure and all should follow it. Similarly, Naik, the Leader of Opposition was also not allowed to speak.
Earlier before the beginning of the proceedings, Mishra had given a letter to speaker requesting him to suspend the Question Hour and go for a discussion on the adjournment motion notice on the mysterious death of a woman panchayat extension officer (PEO) in Jajpur.
“The issue (death of woman PEO) has agitated the people of Odisha and is extremely urgent. The matter is highly sensitive and in the large interest of the people of Odisha, it may be taken up immediately by suspending the Question Hour,” Mishra said in the letter.
However, the speaker rejected the Congress notice and accepted a similar notice of the BJP on the rising rape cases in the state.
“We have no objection to the speaker rejecting our notice and accepting BJPs notice. But, he should allow a discussion on the matter after suspending the Question Hour,” Mishra told reporters outside the House.
“It is unfortunate that the speaker did not allow me to speak. He also did not suspend the Question Hour and hold a discussion on the rising rape cases which is alarming,” Naik told reporters adding that his party would again raise the issue when the House reassembles.
Finance minister Niranjan Pujari will present the first supplementary budget for the 2019-20 financial year in the post-lunch session.