Congress protests unruly behaviour of BJD leaders



Pandemonium continued in the Odisha assembly on Friday as the opposition Congress staged a sit-in to protest the allegedly undemocratic behaviour of some ruling BJD party members in the house.

The Congress sought an apology from the leader of the house and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik after their banners were torn off by ruling party members while the Congressmen were raising the issue of former director general of police Prakash Mishra vigilance case.

The case is about allegations that Mishra favoured some suppliers in 2009 during his tenure as the chairman-cum-managing director of the Odisha Police Housing and Welfare Corporation.

The Congress is on the war path since the beginning of the monsoon session (August 18) over the demand for a discussion on the Mishra issue.

As the house assembled on Friday morning, the agitating Congress legislators created a ruckus near speaker Niranjan Pujari's podium, displaying banners against the state government.

But some ruling party members snatched the banners from the Congress members, forcing the assembly speaker to adjourn the house till 3 p.m.

After the house began assembling once again, the Congress members including leader of opposition Narasingh Mishra staged a sit-in, protesting the alleged unruly behaviour of the BJD members and sought an apology from the chief minister.

The BJP members also expressed their solidarity with the Congress.

"This kind of conduct is gagging of democracy; the leader of the house must apologise," said Mishra.

As the house failed to transact any business, the speaker adjourned the house till 5.20 p.m. and later for the day.

Speaker Pujari also called an all party meeting to resolve the deadlock, which was turned down by the Congress.

Later, the opposition members called off their dharna following the request of the speaker. The ongoing session is scheduled to continue till August 28. -IANSThe flood situation has improved slightly in Assam even as over 1,000 villages in 15 districts continue to reel under flood waters, officials said on Friday.

The current wave of floods hit the state on Wednesday affecting at least five lakh people.

One person died in Chirang district while another two people died in Kokrajhar district.

CEO of Assam Disaster Management Authority P.K. Tiwary said the situation has improved slightly compared to Thursday due to no rainfall on Friday.

"The meteorological department forecast a clear sky in the coming days and we hope this will improve the floods situation," Tiwary said, adding that NDRF, SDRF and the army have been pressed into service to help the marooned people.

"The condition is bad in Barpeta, Kokrajhar, Chirang and Bongaigaon districts," he said, adding that the rivers which were in spate till Thursday were showing a falling trend on Friday.

Assam Chief Minister Tarun Gogoi on Friday reviewed the flood situation and asked the district administrations to intensify rescue and relief operations in all the flood-hit districts.

In June, floods affected over four lakh people in 15 districts of the state, killing at least five people. - IANS