Five adjournments on first day of the session

Special Correspondent

Opposition MLAs seek special discussion on police action on ryots and teachers this month

A marshal sustains injuries in his hand in the melee

Supplementary budget proposals of Rs. 3737.73 crores presented

BHUBANESWAR: A number of adjournments and a fracas involving the legislators of Opposition Congress and ruling Biju Janata Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party coalition marked the opening day of the winter session of the Assembly on Monday.

The proceedings were adjourned five times during the day with the Opposition members demanding a special discussion on the November 6 lathicharge on farmers at Hirakud and police action against teachers at several district headquarter towns of the State on November 17.

The proceedings started with the House paying tributes to seven former members and an Army jawan who died in action.

But when the question hour was about to begin Opposition Leader J.B. Patnaik demanded a special discussion on the police action against agitating farmers in western region and the teachers who were demanding regularisation.

The members belonging to the ruling alliance were soon seen on their toes, with a majority of them asking Mr. Patnaik to stop his speech and allow conducting of the question hour.

The Congress legislators who appeared determined to disrupt the proceedings immediately rushed to the well of the House condemning the lathicharge on the farmers and teachers. Some of the Congress legislators also displayed a large poster showing alleged receipt of kickbacks from major private companies by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik as well as the spurious medicine racket, cholera deaths and female foeticide.

A marshal of the House who came forward to snatch the poster from the unruly Opposition members sustained minor injuries in his fingers. As no business could be conducted, Speaker Maheswar Mohanty adjourned the house till 12-30 pm. The House that reassembled at 12-30 pm was again adjourned till 3 pm as the Opposition legislators took out the same poster to disrupt the proceedings.

The House was repeatedly adjourned till 4-45 pm. As soon as the members reassembled at 4-45 pm, Finance Minister Prafulla Chandra Ghadai presented supplementary budget proposals of Rs. 3737.73 crores even as Opposition legislators rushed to the well and raised slogans. The proceedings were then adjourned for the day.

The budget proposals included allotment of funds for various purposes including the Biju Gramjyoti Yojana, payment of ex gratia for families of those dying of lightning and payment of hiked dearness allowances for serving and retired government employees.

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