The appointment of a Lokayukta continued to rock the Odisha assembly for the second consecutive day on Tuesday as Congress and BJP members demanded a statement from Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik.
Unable to run the House, the Speaker adjourned it till 11.30 a.m. and later till 3 p.m.
As soon as the House assembled for the day, Congress members demanded to know when the state government would implement the new Lokayukta Act and appoint a Lokayukta in the state.
Several Congress MLAs, including Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra, staged a dharna near the Speaker’s podium, protesting delay in appointment of Lokayukta.
They demanded a ruling from the Speaker to direct Patnaik to make a statement on the issue.
Though Speaker Pradeep Kumar Amat repeatedly requested them to go back to their seats, the members did not move. The Speaker then adjourned the House till 11.30 a.m.
When the House reassembled, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) members sat on a dharna near the Speaker’s podium while Congress members raised the issue by standing up on their seats.
“The state government, which in 2014 claimed to have become the first state in the country to pass the Lokayukta Act, is yet to appoint Lokayukta. The government knows that if the Act is implemented, the Chief Minister and Ministers will be entangled as all are mired in scams,” said Congress member Prafulla Majhi.
BJP MLA Pradeep Purohit said the Chief Minister must answer.
“The Chief Minister never leaves a chance of saying that he is running a transparent government. But the fact is that all officials and Ministers are involved in scams and corruption as a result the government is developing cold feet to appoint Lokayukta in the state,” said Purohit.
Ruling Biju Janata Dal MLA Dibya Shankar Mishra criticised the opposition for disrupting the House proceedings.
“It is unfortunate that the Leader of Opposition sat on a dharna near the podium. The state government is taking steps to appoint Lokayukta,” said Mishra.
The assembly witnessed similar scenes with frequent adjournments on Monday as the opposition raised the same issue.