Bhubaneswar: Blaming Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for abrupt end of the winter session of Odisha Assembly, Congress today sought a clarification from the ruling BJD President on credentials of one Saroj Sahoo who was grilled by the CBI in the chitfund scam.
"It is unfortunate that the chief minister is blaming the Opposition instead of abrupt end of the winter session. Rather, it is the chief minister himself who conspired to end the assembly session early in order to avoid a discussion on the chitfund scam," Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra of Congress told reporters here a day after the House was adjourned sine die.
Stating that the assembly was adjourned without taking the Opposition into confidence, Mishra said, "They (government) ended the session on December 5 while it was originally scheduled to be completed on December 20. There had been no discussion with opposition in this regard."
The chief minister had yesterday accused the opposition of creating disturbance in the House which led to ending the session even as a number of issues in public interest remained to be discussed.
"Of the 14 working days of the winter session, the treasury bench members rushed to well of the House on nine occasions and ensured adjournment of the House. It is however, a fact that opposition members have protested in the assembly when the Speaker ignored them," Mishra said.
Claiming that the ruling party and its leader was afraid of a discussion on the chitfund scam as one of its MPs and a MLA have already been arrested by the CBI in connection with ponzi companies, the Congress leader said, "Though it was decided in the Business Advisory Committee to hold discussion on the chitfund issue, they backtracked from it later."
Speaker Niranjan Pujari in a ruling had said that there would be no debate on the chitfund issue in the assembly as the matter was sub-judice. Even Pujari put restriction on making reference to chitfund issue during discussion during the home demand and appropriation bill, Mishra pointed out.
"Surprisingly, the same House in the past had discussed on chitfund scam and mining scam when they were subjudice," Mishra said adding that the ruling party feared a debate as CBI had already interrogated one Saroj Sahoo, the office secretary of the ruling BJD.
"We want to know who is this Saroj Sahoo and what is his relationship with the ruling BJD and the chief minister," Mishra said asking Patnaik to explain where this man (Saroj) was staying and his activities.
Mishra also said that they would have been able to raise many questions had there been a debate in the House.
However, the opposition could not get any opportunity to raise the matter as the House was adjourned ahead of its schedule, he said. The party has decided to take the matter to the people and stage demonstration, he added.