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Cong walkout in Odisha House

Bhubaneswar, Feb. 3: The Opposition today moved a no-confidence motion against the Naveen Patnaik government even as governor S.C. Jamir highlighted its achievements in his address to the Assembly, which began its last session before the general elections here.

Congress chief whip Prasad Harichandan said the party had given a notice to the Speaker, expressing its intent to move a no-trust motion. The motion was likely to be taken up on Wednesday. “If more than 14 members support the motion, the Speaker will allot time to debate it,” said Harichandan.

However, BJD chief whip Pravat Tripathy lashed out at the Opposition move, saying it had no basis. “People of Odisha have confidence in this government. Still, we are ready for any debate,” he said.

Unlike in the past years, the Opposition did not boycott the governor’s address today. However, leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh was seen delivering a parallel speech and later walked out of the House with his party members.

Accusing the present government of failing on all fronts, Singh said the governor was reading out a speech packed with lies. “The major contribution of this government is that Odisha has become the poorest state,” he said, listing out the government’s failures.

However, Jamir appeared unfazed by Singh’s frequent disruptions and the walkout. He kept his calm and completed his address, which lasted more than an hour.

In his 36-page address, the governor praised the government for its “remarkable accomplishments” in accelerating economic growth and reducing poverty. “Our state recorded an average annual growth rate of 8.23 per cent during the 11th plan and it is estimated that the economy would register an average growth of 9 per cent even during the 12th plan period.”

The real per capita income has gone up from Rs 14,862 in 1999-2000 to Rs 26,900 in 2011-12, registering a 77 per cent growth, while the state has achieved the highest reduction of poverty (by 24.6 per cent) among all Indian states, he said. The state’s debt burden has come down from 46.48 per cent in 2001-02 to 17.87 per cent in 2011-12, he said.

Stating that Odisha’s plan size has increased to Rs 21,467 crore in 2013-14 from Rs 2,484 crore in 1999-2000, Jamir indicated that it was likely to rise to Rs 27,000 crore during the next fiscal.

Highlighting the government’s success in containing Maoist menace, he said augmenting the striking capabilities of the security force and building an effective intelligence network had been the focus of the government. The surrender and rehabilitation scheme for the Maoists has also been revised.

The governor listed out measures, including creation of four Special Security Battalions, to enhance the capacity of 83 most vulnerable police stations, establishment of the Odisha Special Striking Force by inducting ex-servicemen, filling up more than 15,000 posts in the state police. The government has also framed a rule for absorption of special police officers as constables in the Odisha Auxiliary Police Force on completion of three years of satisfactory service, he said.

Jamir claimed that the government attracted more than 435 large-scale investments worth more than Rs 8 lakh crore in various sectors. Many of such investments have fructified and increased the power generation capacity by 362 per cent, alumina production by 438 per cent, aluminum by 661 per cent, steel by 751 per cent and IT exports by 605 per cent.

The state government has signed 48 MoU with various companies for establishment of steel plants involving a investment of Rs 1.60 lakh crore. Already 30 of these plants, with an investment of over Rs 80,000 crore, have gone into partial production.


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