Special Correspondent

BHUBANESWAR: The Biju Janata Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party Government came under severe criticism in the State Assembly on Wednesday for its failure to fill the vacant posts of Members in the Western Orissa Development Council (WODC).

The legislators of Opposition Congress, representing constituencies in the western part of the State, also demanded immediate shifting of the WODC headquarters from Bhubaneswar to a suitable place in western Orissa.

The demand was highlighted by the Opposition members when an adjournment motion on the issue came up for discussion in the House.

The proceedings were adjourned several times as the Opposition Members rushed to the well to highlight their demand.

Replying to the motion moved by senior Congress leader Narasingha Mishra and Satya Bhushan Sahu, State Planning and Coordination Minister Padmanabha Behera admitted that 14 posts of Members were lying vacant in the WODC at present.

The vacant posts included two posts for Members of Parliament, 11 posts for Members of Legislative Assembly and one expert Member. The government is actively considering filling all these vacancies and completing formation of the Council within one month, Mr. Behera said.

Raising a strong protest, Mr. Mishra also sat on dharna in the well of the House. He returned to the chair only after Mr. Behera assured that the government will take a decision on shifting of the WODC headquarters by September this year.