Opposition members continued their sit-in inside the Orissa assembly for the second day on Sunday to protest against sine die adjournment of Orissa Assembly, two weeks ahead of schedule.

Members of Congress and BJP, who launched the dharna terming the early adjournment of the Assembly as “undemocratic and unconstitutional”, continued their sit-in through the night.

Though the government claimed there was no important business left, Opposition legislators demanded resumption of the Assembly and decided to ask the Governor not to prorogue the House which was to run till December 19.

Congress chief whip Prasad Harichandan and BJP legislature party leader K V Singhdeo said the Institute of Chartered Financial Analysts of India University, Orissa Bill, 2009 was deferred till next session despite the government’s claim that there was no business to transact.

Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh and Harichandan said the House was adjourned in a hurried manner as the government was afraid of facing the opposition over the multi-crore mining scam.

Stating that the move came after Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was targetted by opposition for alleged involvement in the mining scam, Mr. Harichandan said the government failed to show decency to consult opposition before deciding to adjourn the House indefinitely.

The Assembly had commenced its winter session on November 18. While the House sat for 15 days, eleven working days were left for transaction of various businesses.

Opposition leaders said they were caught unaware when government chief whip R N Pani moved the motion for adjourning the house sine die after the Assembly unanimously adopted the resolution to change the name of the state from Orissa to “Odisha” and its language from Oriya to “Odia.”

While about 25 members of Congress and BJP staged the dharna inside the House all through the night, some of them threatened to run a “special” session.

Defending the government action, Mr. Pani said there were instances of the assembly being adjourned before the schedule when there was no business for transaction. There was no point in spending public money for 11 more days as there was no business left before the House, he said.

However, Mr. Harichandan and other opposition leaders claimed that the government action came as it was not prepared to face the Opposition attack over mining scam.

“As we raised issues relating to direct involvement of the chief minister in the mining scam, the government ended the session and ran away,” he charged.