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Short session, Jamir seeks reason

Bhubaneswar, Dec. 17: Odisha governor S.C. Jamir today summoned the Assembly secretary to find out the reasons behind the government cutting short business and adjourning the winter session sine die all of a sudden yesterday.

The session that began on November 28 was scheduled to conclude on December 26. The House had eight working days left. According to the rules, the House has to sit for 60 days in a calendar year. But this time, it has been in session for 52 days.

Assembly secretary A.K. Sarangi said: “On the summons of the governor, I met him today and gave him an account of the proceedings during the just concluded session.” However, Sarangi said he had not submitted any video-footage of the proceedings as the governor did not ask for it.

Yesterday, Congress MLAs had marched to Raj Bhavan from the Assembly, protesting against the state government’s decision to abruptly adjourn the House sine die for an indefinite period without taking the Opposition into confidence.

The Congress members alleged that as the treasury bench did not have the courage to face the truth on the issue of central assistance given to the state to take up repair and reconstruction in the Phailin and flood-hit areas, they cut short the session.

Revenue and disaster management minister Surjya Naryan Patro informed the House on December 11 that the Centre had released Rs 250 crore to the state. But by that time, the Centre had released Rs 1,000 crore as promised by Prime Minister Manmohan Singh. The statement had prompted the Opposition to demand the resignation of the revenue and disaster management minister.

After the Opposition did not budge from its demand of Patro’s resignation, the treasury bench moved a motion, urging Speaker Pradip Kumar Amat to adjourn the House for indefinite period as the Opposition did not allow the House to take up the proceedings. Later, the House accepted it in a voice vote and the Speaker declared the adjournment.

Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh said: “It’s a victory for us. Their stands have been exposed. We will soon file a charge sheet against the government.”

Parliamentary affairs minister Kalpataru Das said: “The people already know the credentials of the Opposition. They have already been rejected by the people. Let them bring any charge, we will face it. The Speaker had to adjourn the House as the Opposition did not allow the House to run smoothly. Even the suspended Congress MLA, Debi Prasanna Chand, did not leave the House.”

The abrupt adjournment of the House had also an impact on people staging dharna since November 28 along Mahatama Gandhi Marg in front of the Assembly. “We had to vacate the place last night itself as there was no need to sit on a dharna any more,” said Abhimanyu Samantaray, a computer teacher. Police also dismantled its camps near the Assembly.