Bhubaneswar, Dec 3: The Odisha Assembly on Thursday, Dec 3 witnessed pandemonium leading to an adjournment over opposition members claiming frequent absence of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik in the House.
Raising the issue during Zero hour, Congress chief whip Taraprasad Bahinipati alleged that Chief minister Patnaik used to skip debates in the house. His party colleagues then demanded a ruling from the Chair on the matter.
As the agitating Congress MLAs rushed to well of the House and protested, Deputy Speaker Sanand Marandi adjourned the proceeding for 22 minutes.
When the House reassembled at 12 noon, Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra of Congress said as leader of the House, Patnaik should remain present in the Assembly when important discussions were being held. "The leader of the House should listen and intervene in the matters relating to the state," Mishra said.
Mishra stated that it was often found that Patnaik would authorise some other minister to reply on his behalf. "Authorising some other minister to speak on behalf of the Chief minister is a parliamentary practice. But, it should not be a regular practice (to authorise a minister to speak on behalf of the chief minister)," Mishra said.
Mishra alleged that the Chief minister has not even been responding to the matters relating to the departments like works, water resources and others being held by him.
"We expect that the Chief minister will remain present and participate in the debate on the alleged central negligence to the state," Mishra said.
"As the government is a collective responsibility, authorising any minister to speak on behalf of the government is under parliamentary practice," Speaker Niranjan Pujari said.