Bhubaneswar: Leader of Opposition in Odisha Assembly Bhupinder Singh on Monday withdrew his dharna in the well of the House, after assurances by the Speaker that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik will on Tuesday reply to the debate on the issue of burning to death of a woman teacher.
Normalcy returned to the House after Speaker Pradip Kumar Amat assured Singh, who had been protesting since Saturday afternoon, assured that Patnaik would reply the adjournment debate on the case.
"Chief Minister will reply the adjournment debate on the murder of a lady teacher tomorrow," Amat announced as Singh refused to call off his dharna in well of the House earlier in the morning.
As soon as the House assembled for the day at 10.30 AM, speaker Amat requested Singh to call off the dharna and cooperate with him to carry out the proceeding.
However, Singh refused to budge unless the Chief Minister was asked to reply to the debate. Unable to break the stalemate, Amat adjourned the house till 12.30 PM.
When the House reassembled at 12.30 PM, the Speaker made the announcement which was accepted by Singh and other Congress members.
"We are not in favour of paralysing the House. However, there was an attempt that some other minister (other than Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik) would reply to the debate on the lady teacher`s murder case to be held today. Therefore, I was forced to sit on dharna on Saturday demanding CM`s reply," Singh said.
Parliamentary Affairs minister Kalpataru Das also told the House that the Chief Minister was not scared to reply on the issue as alleged by the Opposition.
"The CM has been making replies on every adjournment debates so far taken up in the House," Das said.
Senior BJD member and former Minister Pradeep Maharathy, however, said that it was not decent on part of the leader of Opposition to sit on dharna in the Well of the House.
"As the government is a collective responsibility, any minister can reply any debate," Maharathy argued.
With Congress members returning to their respective seats, the House functioned as usual and scheduled to debate on the expenditure relating to the water resources department and agriculture department in the afternoon session.