Odisha Assembly adjourned after protests over speaker''s media

ban Bhubaneswar, Feb 15 (PTI) House proceedings were disrupted on Saturday over Speaker S N Patro's ban on media from reporting ruckus in the Odisha Assembly, leading to adjournment twice.

There were noisy scenes in the House as soon as the Question Hour began at 10.30 am with Congress and BJP legislators urging the speaker to reconsider the ruling and allow the media to report the happenings in the House.

As the speaker did not pay heed to their demands, the chaos continued, leading to adjournment, first till 11.30 am and then till 3 pm.

The speaker in a ruling on Friday had directed both the print and electronic media not to report the ruckus inside the House and put a ban on using the name of members staging agitation, inviting strong criticisms from the BJP and the Congress.

Leader of Opposition Pradipta Kumar Naik of the BJP said that the speaker's ruling is 'detrimental' to the democratic rights of the legislators, and demanded its immediate withdrawal.

Senior Congress MLA S S Saluja said, 'The speaker's ruling is not acceptable in a democracy. If the MLAs don't protest in the Assembly where should they go? The lawmakers have democratic rights to protest in the Assembly.' Government Chief Whip Pramilla Mallick said, 'The speaker's ruling is constitutional and as per the provisions being followed in the Lok Sabha, the Rajya Sabha and other state assemblies.' With the adjournment, the House could not discuss the death of 10 persons due to electrocution in a bus in the Ganjam district recently.

No business could also be conducted during the Zero Hour.

Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and Congress Legislature Party leader Narasingha Mishra were not present in the House.