Stalemate ends in Orissa Assembly

After 5 days of stalemate over the Vedanta University issue, normalcy returned to the Orissa Assembly today as Opposition Congress decided to participate in the debate on demands for grants.

Bhubaneswar: After 5 days of stalemate
over the Vedanta University issue, normalcy returned to the
Orissa Assembly today as Opposition Congress decided to
participate in the debate on demands for grants.

Earlier, a section of Congress MLAs visited Puri to invoke
blessing of Lord Jagannath to expose alleged irregularities in
government projects.

"We went to the temple as the state government has sold
600 acre of the temple land to Vedanta University," said N K
Das, who was among the MLAs including Leader of the Opposition
Bhupimder Singh and Chief Whip Prasad Harichandan, who visited
the temple.

"Keeping the people`s interest in view, we have decided to
participate in the debate on demands for grants for the first
supplementary budget," the Congress Chief Whip said.

BJP legislature party leader K V Singhdeo also made a
similar statement annoucing his party`s participation in the
debate on demands for grants.

The opposition`s demand for a quick decision by Speaker
Pradip Kumar Amat on the privilege notices served on November
26 against Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for commenting on the
Orissa High Court in its November 16 verdict stating that the
land acquisition by the state government for Vedanta was not
legal, however, was yet to be taken up.

"The opposition notices are still under my examination. I
have not admitted them," Amat said.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Raghunath Mohanty and
others from treasury bench said the Speaker should be given
adequate time to examine the privilege notices.

"I appeal to the opposition to cooperate in functioning of
the House," Mohanty said.

The opposition has held that Patnaik`s statement was
contradictory about the developer of the university, the Anil
Agarwal Foundation`s change of status from a private limited
company to a public limited one.

It was alleged that the date mentioned by the chief
minister in his statement was misleading in the face of the
high court judgement and therefore it had not only invited
contempt of the house, but also amounted to contempt of
court.

Harichandan said, "According to rules and practice, the
Speaker should accept the privilege notice without delay as
opposition had followed proper procedure for admitting the
notices."

PTI