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Odisha Assembly logjam persists

While the Opposition BJP and Congress members stated that they would allow the house to function only if the government assured to procure all paddy from farmers, the ruling BJD members said they will not relent until BJP MLA Subash Panigrahi apologises for attempting suicide in the House by consuming sanitizer.

Statesman News Service | Bhubaneswar |

The logjam in Odisha Assembly over the last five days persisted with the ruling BJD, Opposition BJP and Congress refusing to budge from their respective stand and all party meetings convened by the Speaker failing to break the ice.

It was more of a replay in the Assembly for the fifth day running. MLA’s of all three parties disrupted proceedings by raising slogans and displaying banners.

There was no sign of a resolution.

Both the treasury and opposition members reiterated their respective demands and stalled the House.

While the Opposition BJP and Congress members stated that they would allow the house to function only if the government assured to procure all paddy from farmers, the ruling BJD members said they will not relent until BJP MLA Subash Panigrahi apologises for attempting suicide in the House by consuming sanitizer.

It may be noted that Panigrahi had attempted to commit suicide in protest against government’s failure to procure paddy from farmers.

The grandstanding by parties was evident as the ruling BJD MLA’s took out a rally to the Raj Bhavan demanding action against the BJP MLA Panigrahi.

It is a question of dignity of the Assembly. Attempting suicide in the Assembly in unprecedented, what kind of message does the BJP want to give to the people charged the BJD MLA’s while talking to media persons during their march to Raj Bhavan today.

Countering the tirade, BJP MLA and leader of Opposition Pradipta Naik told the media “ we want the CM to convene an all party meeting. Where is he, it is five days since the deadlock and the CM is unseen,” he said adding that the BJP will go to the CM’s residence at ascertain as to why he is not attending the Assembly despite the crisis.

It is the duty of the Chief Minister as the leader of the house to ensure that the house functions normally, said the BJP leader.

Veteran Congress MLA and former law minister, Narasingha Mishra informed that he has, in a letter, requested the CM to discharge his duty as leader of the House and convene an all party meeting.

Since the meetings held by the Speaker have failed to arrive at a consensus, the CM must step in, noted Mishra.

The ruling BJD is disrupting the Assembly and the CM is silent, he remarked . The demand of the BJD is that the BJP MLA Panigrahi should apologise when it is well known that action can be taken on the mla.

The Speaker, if he feels that any member has committed breach of privilege can take action as per rules, he noted.

Mishra has written twice to the CM over the last three days without evoking any response.

Congress mla Taraprasad Bahinipati in his reaction said it is crystal clear that the BJD and BJP are working in tandem to ensure that discussions do not take place as both the centre and state have failed the farmers.

The Food Minister Ranendra Pratap Swain said he has written to the Union Food Minister Piyush Goyal requesting him to release subsidy dues of over Rs 5000 crore and direct the FCI to evacuate rice from the godowns that are overflowing in the state.

Reacting sharply to the BJP’s demands on procurement, Swain curtly said “ we will procure paddy from all the genuine farmers, not traders. Why are they (the BJP) shouting here, why don’t they go to Delhi and ask their government to release subsidy arrears and the FCI to lift parboiled rice, he said.