Bhubaneswar: Odisha chief minister Naveen Patnaik who in the past commanded high respect and esteem even among his rivals for his crusade against corruption, seems to be struggling now to hold onto his image because of rampant irregularities in various branches of administration.
The Opposition Congress and BJP have been putting pressure on his government to hold a special debate in the Assembly to discuss all the major scams and scandals in the last 17 years of his rule.
Realising a special debate on the irregularities and corruption will prove suicidal, the treasury bench has been resisting the move for the last two days.
As the Question Hour began at 10.30 am, Leader of the Opposition Narasingha Mishra wanted to know the fate of an adjournment notice he had given for holding a special debate on corruption. When the Speaker Pradip Amat continued to conduct the Question Hour business saying the notice was rejected, the Congress and BJP members rushed to the Well of the House.
Unable to run the House amid pandemonium, the Speaker adjourned the Assembly till 3 pm.
“No work in Odisha is done without paying PC to government offices, ruling party MLAs and ministers. For every work starting from awarding of work contracts, clearing of bills, land registration, transfer and posting of employees and so on, officials and ruling party leaders ask for PC. We had moved an adjournment notice for discussion of all these things but the Speaker rejected it under the direction of the chief minister,” said Congress chief Whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati speaking to reporters outside the House.
BJP MLA Rabi Narayan Naik said they protested in the House as a discussion on the PC issue was not allowed.
Taking a defensive stand, the ruling BJD criticised the Opposition members for stalling the proceedings of the House.
“CM Naveen Patnaik had earlier made it clear that the PC culture should be stopped. It is unfortunate that the Opposition members didn’t allow the Question Hour to run properly over the PC matter. They (Opposition members) could have raised the matter during all-party meeting,” said BJD MLA Sameer Dash outside the House.