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Since 1st March, 1999
 
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Cong to stir up session over Speaker anomaly

Bhubaneswar, March 20: The ensuing budget session in the Assembly is likely to begin on a stormy note tomorrow with the Opposition training its gun against Speaker Maheswar Mohanty.

The Opposition is planning to boycott the session, if the Speaker presides over the House. A delegation of Congress and CPI legislators had met Governor Rameswar Thakur yesterday and urged him not to deliver his inaugural address in presence of the Speaker.

An FIR has been lodged against Mohanty by the Puri district administration, on the direction of the state election commission, for allegedly violating the model code of conduct during the panchayat polls.

“He has lost the right to preside over this august House,” leader of Opposition J.B. Patnaik said.

A few days ago, the Congress had given a notice for moving a no-confidence motion against the Speaker. The Congress legislature party, which met this evening, too, was discussing their strategy to be adopted on the issue. The meeting was on when the report was filed.

A section of the Congress MLAs suggested that the governor’s address be boycotted if Mohanty presided over the House.

However, indecision ruled supreme among the Congress leaders as the governor has been appointed by the UPA government at the Centre.

The ruling BJD-BJP legislature party, on the other hand, sounded confident about facing the no-confidence motion.

“We are ready to face the no-confidence motion,” said chief minister Naveen Patnaik. “I hope the Opposition will behave in a democratic, peaceful and parliamentary manner,” the chief minister further said, adding his government was ready for debate on any issue raised by the Opposition.

As a counter strategy, the ruling coalition decided to raise the bogey of Centre neglect to Orissa.

The treasury bench would move the motion to discuss issues like release of paltry central assistance for flood relief, non-revision of royalty of coal and other minerals etc.

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