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Blame game stalls House

Bhubaneswar, Nov. 29: Aggressive posturing by both the Opposition and the treasury benches led to repeated disruptions of proceedings at the Odisha Assembly today.

Congress members fired the first salvo rushing into the Well and shouting slogans against the alleged use of money power by the BJD in the just-concluded municipal polls in west Odisha.

Note nia, vote dia (take money and vote for us)” was the strategy of the ruling party, alleged the Congress members as they caused a ruckus in the Well.

The BJD has swept the recent civic polls in west Odisha by winning as many as 15 of 20 urban local bodies. The Congress and the BJP had to be content with one urban body each.

The BJD was quick to respond with its members raking up the issue of continued central neglect of Odisha. “The Centre has not given a single pie as assistance for Phailin though it had announced Rs 1,000 crore advance to the state,” alleged BJD members, shouting slogans and condemning Prime Minister Manmohan Singh.

As soon as the House met today, leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh raised the “note for vote” issue. “The democracy is in peril,” he said, alleging that the BJD had won the recent civic polls in west Odisha by using money power. However, he was not allowed to speak further. Agitated over this, the Congress members then trooped into the Well, shouting slogans. An angry Congress MLA Rajendra Chhatria was seen climbing the reporters’ table and showing a placard alleging that Rs 5,000 was given for each vote and the money was given from the chief minister’s office.

Launching counter attack, the BJD legislators were seen standing on their seats and shouting slogans against the central neglect towards the Phailin-hit Odisha. They alleged that the state had not got a single pie for calamity relief.

Finding it difficult to run the House amid the pandemonium, Speaker Pradip Kumar Amat adjourned the proceedings till 12 noon. However, as the uproarious scenes continued, he had to adjourn the House twice till 5pm. When the House resumed again, the Opposition members trooped into the Well, raising the note-for-vote.

However, amid the chaos, finance minister Prasanna Acharya placed the supplementary budget.

Refuting the Opposition allegation of using money power to win the elections as baseless, parliamentary affairs minister Kalpataru Das said: “This is their stock allegation after every electoral defeat.”