Bhubaneswar: The monsoon session of the Odisha Assembly began on a stormy note on Wednesday with ruling BJD legislators raising slogans against the central government over the Mahanadi river water dispute.
As soon as the House assembled, some Biju Janata Dal (BJD) lawmakers shouted slogans against the Centre`s apathy and Chhattisgarh, even during the playing of the national anthem, inviting criticism from the opposition members.
This forced Speaker Niranjan Pujari to adjourn the House till 3 p.m.
The Leader of Opposition Narasingh Mishra said: "The BJD MLAs have shown disrespect to the national anthem at the behest of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who was present in the House during the incident. They have hatched a plan not to allow business in the House."
He said the Speaker allowed the ruling party members to create the ruckus, rejecting a motion to cancel the question hour and discussion on the Mahanadi issue.
Congress chief whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati said that the BJD members have not learned to respect the national anthem.
He also said there should be a "no work, no pay" system in the Assembly for continuous disruption.
However, the BJD tried to downplay the matter. BJD legislator Nrusingh Sahoo said the members shouting slogans were unaware that the national anthem was playing.
After the House was adjourned, the ruling party members took out a rally and submitted a memorandum to Governor S.C. Jamir, addressing the President on the Mahanadi issue.