BJD, Congress clash in LS over clearance to Posco

The passage of two bills for change of name of Orissa and language of the state in the Lok Sabha was marked by a clash between BJD and Congress.

New Delhi: The passage of two bills for change
of name of Orissa and language of the state in the Lok Sabha
was today marked by a clash between BJD and Congress after a
member from the ruling benches attacked the Naveen Patnaik
government for giving clearance apparently to Posco plant.

The Orissa (Alteration of Name) Bill, 2010 and
Constitution (113th Amendment) Bill, 2010 for change of
language were moved by Home Minister P Chidambaram on the
basis of resolutions passed by the Orissa Assembly.

The Bills provide for change of name of state to Odisha
and language to Odia.

Soon after the Bills were moved for consideration,
Congress member Bhakta Charan Das took the opportunity to
attack the Navin Patnaik-led BJD government accusing it of
playing into the hands of corporates.

Amid strong protests from BJD members, Das alleged that
the Patnaik government was trying to convert the state into a
land of corporates at the cost of tribals who are the original
inhabitants of the region.

Apparently referring to the clearance given by the BJD
government to Korean steel major Posco for setting up a plant
despite reservations of the union environment ministry, Das
accused the state government of violating the constitution and

He demanded the state government`s dismissal which was
endorsed by thumping of desks by Congress members, including
party chief Sonia Gandhi.

Das referred to efforts made by Congress general secretary
Rahul Gandhi, besides Sonia, Rajiv and Indira Gandhi to
protect the interests of tribals in the state.

As the MP from Orissa launched the attack on the state
government, Gandhi and others were seen egging him on even
though Speaker Meira Kumar repeatedly told him to conclude his

BJD members, meanwhile, continued to protest terming it as
bipartisan debate. Kumar assured them that she would check the
record and see if there was anything objectionable.

Normalcy was restored and the Bills were passed by
division of votes with all 294 members present in the House
voting in favour and none against.

Bartruhari Mahtab, Tathagata Satpathy and Prasanna Kumar
Patasani (all BJD) were the main speakers during the debate on
the Bill.