Speaker adjourns Odisha Assembly

Bhubaneswar, Nov 18 (PTI) The Odisha Assembly onMonday witnessed noisy scenes and was adjourned till thepost-lunch session as Congress members shouted slogans againstthe government calling it 'anti-farmer'.

The BJP boycotted the proceedings demanding a CBIprobe into the mysterious death of a woman panchayat officialin Jajpur district.

As soon as the House assembled at 10.30 am, Speaker SN Patro asked the minister of state for Home D S Mishra to gofor Question Hour while Congress members demanded withdrawalof the centralized token (authorization slip to sell paddy atgovernment mandi) system on the paddy procurement.

Congress members led by Taraprasad Bahinipati andSantosh Singh Saluja trooped into well and shouted slogansagainst the government calling it 'anti-farmer.' They alleged that farmers, who have been taking paddyto mandis (procurement centre) since November 15, are yet tosell it due to the online token system introduced by the stategovernment at the state level.

Unable to run the proceedings, the Speaker adjournedthe House till 3 pm.

The farmers in western districts have meanwhilelaunched an agitation demanding re-introduction of the tokenprovision issued at the district level instead of the statelevel.

'The farmers are waiting to get token for a long timeto sell away their paddy. As they do not get it (token) atproper time, the farmers go for distress sale,' CongressLegislature Party Leader Narasingha Mishra told reportersoutside the House.

'Since farmers issue is very sensitive, Congressdemands suspension of the Question Hour and go for adiscussion on the distress sale of paddy,' Mishra said.

BJP MLA Jaynarayan Mishra, who represents Sambalpur inAssembly, also criticized the governments policy.

'The Odisha government has introduced state-leveltoken system following Punjab governments policy. This is notpossible in Odisha. The farmers in the state need token at thelocal level so that they can sale away their paddy easily,' hetold reporters outside the Assembly.

Opposition BJP members also boycotted the House andcontinued their dharna near the Mahatma Gandhi statue insidethe Assembly premises.

They have been sitting on a dharna near Gandhi statuesince Saturday protesting the Speaker act of denying them tospeak on the mysterious death of the woman panchayat officialin Jajpur district.

Leader of the Opposition Pradipta Nayak said his partymembers will continue to boycott the House as the Speaker isnot allowing them to discuss the death of the HaridaspurPanchayat Extension Officer Smitarani Biswal.

'Though the police has so far arrested one person inconnection with the woman panchayat officials death, fourother main accused persons are still at large. One person hasbeen arrested under section 306 of IPC (abatement) instead of302 (murder) of the IPC ... and the state government mustorder a CBI probe into the incident,' Naik said. PTI AAMRG RG