BJD to push agri-marketing bill through in Assembly; oppn ready to corner govt on law and order

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Bhubaneswar, Nov 19 (PTI) As the opposition parties have prepared strategies to corner the government on law and order situation in the winter session of the Assembly starting on Friday, the ruling BJD will push 10 Bills including one seeking to attract private investors in the agriculture marketing sector for passage.

The Assembly will sit for truncated hours in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic without the Question Hour. As during the previous monsoon session, all the persons including MLAs will have to test negative for coronavirus in order to get an entry into the Assembly building.

After the BJD Legislature Party meeting on Thursday, Parliamentary Affairs Minister B K Arukha said, 'We have 10 Bills including three existing ordinances to be moved in the House.' Though Arukha did not name the Agricultural Produce and Livestock Marketing (Promotion and Facilitation) Ordinance, sources said that it is one of the three ordinances that will be presented in the form of Bills for passage in the House.

The Congress was opposed to the ordinance which was first implemented on May 13 and re-promulgated on November 12.

'We have to ensure that the agri-marketing ordinance does not harm farmers,' said Congress Legislature Party leader Narasingha Mishra.

The ordinance has the provision of allowing private investment in the agriculture infrastructure and open private mandies for procurement of produces.

The state government had initially planned to pass the ordinance in the monsoon session of the Assembly, but shelved the idea amid stiff opposition by many quarters against the agricultural reform Bills introduced by the Centre in Parliament.

Meanwhile, the BJP said it has prepared a list of issues to be raised in the assembly.

The issues include law and order situation, unemployment, 'mismanagement' in paddy procurement and power tariff hike, Leader of Opposition P K Naik told reporters after the BJP Legislature Party meeting.

'As the law and order situation is deteriorating every day, the chief minister has no moral responsibility to continue in office. Naveen Patnaik is also the state's home minister,' Naik said.

The Congress also said that it has also prepared a list of issues to corner the state government in the House.

'There is no law and order in the state and jungle raj prevails across Odisha. We will also raise the issue of two custodial deaths reported today,' said CLP leader Narasingha Mishra.

Two persons were picked up by the police in separate incidents in Puri and Sundergarh districts and they died on Thursday morning.

Mishra said there are other sensitive issues to be raised during the 40-day session.

Director General of Police Abhay and other senior officials visited the Assembly premises and inspected the security arrangements ahead of the commencement of the winter session. PTI AAM NN NN