Bhubaneswar: The winter session of the State Assembly, scheduled to begin Wednesday, is set to get stormy, with opposition parties planning to question the government over a range of issues, including the recently launched 5T initiatives and two cases of sexual harassment.
Both the BJP and the Congress have announced their decision to take on the BJD government – caught in a controversy after one of its leaders, Pramod Kumar Sahu, was arrested in Kendrapara on the charge of sexual harassment.
Shortly after his arrest, the ruling party, however, claimed that it had severed all ties with Sahu. In Jajpur, a man known to be close to the BJD leadership was recently apprehended for his alleged involvement in the death of a woman panchayat officer. The opposition parties have sought a CBI probe into the case.
“We will raise several issues pertaining to law and order and corruption to take on the BJD government. We will also seek a discussion over Jagannath temple’s missing key case and the government’s delay in tabling the judicial commission’s report on the matter,” Leader of Opposition Pradipta Kumar Naik said.
The BJP members will highlight the state government’s “partisan approach” in distribution of aid to those affected by cyclone ‘Fani’, Naik said. “People having links with the ruling party have been given more than one house units while the ones actually in need of help were denied help.
“We will also draw attention to the benefits availed by the ruling party members under the KALIA scheme, meant for farmers,” he said. The saffron party might also “shed light on the corrupt methods” adopted by the party in paddy procurement, a senior lawmaker said.
“An impression has been created among public that the BJP and the BJD are hand in glove. This is also because the BJD supported a BJP candidate in the Rajya Sabha elections. The assembly is the right platform to give a clear message on the BJP’s stand on law and order and corruption,” he said.
Sharing similar views, Congress Legislature Party leader Narasingha Mishra said the state government had “failed to tackle the situation that arose out of natural calamities”. “We will also seek a discussion on the state government’s 5T initiative and Mo Sarkar programme — aimed at weeding out corruption. The government, itself, has been shielding some senior bureaucrats who are neck-deep in corruption,” Mishra claimed.
The Naveen Patnaik government recently introduced the 5T (Teamwork, Technology, Transparency, Time leading to Transformation) initiative, contending that it was part of its efforts to provide good governance.
Under the ‘Mo Sarkar’ or ‘My Government’ programme, the government promised to seeks feedback from people on the kind of services they received. Senior Congress leaders — Taraprasad Bahinipati and
Suresh Routray — said they would seek explanation for the “deteriorating law and order” situation in the state.
“The Congress has just nine MLAs in the house of 147 members, but we will try and prove that ours is the real opposition party, highlighting pertinent issues, and not the BJP,” a party legislator added.
Meanwhile, Parliamentary Affairs Minister BK Arukha sought the cooperation of the opposition parties for the smooth functioning of the assembly.
“The treasury bench is ready for discussion on any issue raised by opposition,” he asserted. The minister also said that the winter session will have 30 working days, of which 21 have been earmarked for official business.
The first supplementary budget for the 2019-20 fiscal will be presented by Finance Minister Niranjan Pujari on the opening day and the appropriation bill on supplementary expenditure will be placed before the house November 25, he added.