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Cong accuses BJD of ‘throttling’ voice

Bhubaneswar, Dec. 15: Congress MLAs today met Governor M.C. Bhandare and accused the ruling BJD of “throttling” its voice in the Odisha Assembly.

The MLAs alleged that the ruling party had taken advantage of their absence and passed four bills in the House in a record 30 minutes on December 12.

“The House is not being run in a proper manner and there seems to be a conspiracy by the ruling party to throttle the voice of the Opposition,” alleged leader of the Opposition Bhupinder Singh, who led the delegation. Singh said they had lodged their protest with Governor Bhandare, who heard them out patiently.

The Congress MLAs alleged that they had given a notice for an adjournment motion to discuss the deterioration in the health care service in the state during zero hour today. However, it was not allowed on the plea that there were several bills listed for the day. “Legislative business is always conducted in the afternoon, while urgent matters of public interest raised by the Opposition is discussed during the zero hour. But today this practice was not followed,” said Singh.

On December 12, he said, the government got four bills passed within 30 minutes when the Congress members were not present in the House. In the Assembly today, Singh questioned the Speaker's decision not to allow the adjournment motion on deteriorating health scenario in the state.

Speaker Pradip Kumar Amat made it clear that there was no hard and fast rule that adjournment motion be taken up every day.

“If the government is serious about the bills, it can extend the session by some more days,” said Opposition chief whip Prasad Harichandan while recalling that an Assembly session was extended by one day in the past to pass the Vedanta University Bill.