Odisha: Congress' bid to remove Speaker falters
Congress failed to meet the magic figure of 28 as two of its MLAs Mamata Madhi and Nihar Ranjan Mahananda were found to be absent.
Bhubaneswar: The Congress' bid to oust Odisha Assembly Speaker Pradip Kumat Amat suffered a jolt on Wednesday as its notice for adoption of a resolution was rejected for failing to garner the support of at least 28 members of the House. The notice with signature of 27 Congress MLAs was taken up for consideration by the House after completion of stipulated 14 working days gap.
However, the notice fell through as according to rules and procedure of the OLA (Odisha Legislative Assembly), it required support of at least 28 members for such a resolution. Congress failed to meet the magic figure of 28 as two of its MLAs Mamata Madhi and Nihar Ranjan Mahananda were found to be absent. It, however, got the support from two Independent MLAs - Jitu Patnaik and Braja Pradhan.
Congress MLA Basudev Majhi, who was brought to the House in a wheel chair stood in support of the party's notice seeking removal of the Speaker. Later, senior Congress member SS Saluja said, "We will certainly draw the attention of the party high command in regard to the absence of the two MLAs."
Congress Chief Whip Prasad Harichandan, who had served the notice on behalf of the party, said "We have brought this notice against the Speaker in order to apprise the people of Odisha that Assembly rules are violated by him."
Speaker Pradip Kumar Amat remained in his chamber when the notice was taken up for consideration and the House was presided over by Nrushinga Sahu, a member of the presiding officers panel. He returned to the House after the Congress notice was rejected.
Congress in its notice had made at least 10 specific allegations against the Speaker and accused him of not performing his duties with dignity and impartiality for smooth management of the House and its secretariat. It also alleged that the party's MLAs were not being allowed to raise their voice properly in the House.
BJP which has six members in the Assembly and the support of an Independent, did not come to the rescue of the Congress as expected. "They (Congress) has given notice seeking removal of Speaker on their strength," said BJP supported Independent Pratap Sarangi.
Terming the Congress move as "unfortunate", Odisha Parliamentary Affairs Minister Kalpataru Das said the ruling BJD had issued whip to its members to remain present in the House on Wednesday and Thursday in view of the notice.