Odisha Assembly virtually saw a washout on the opening day of the second phase of Budget session today, amid ruckus by ruling BJD on the Mahanadi river water issue and walkout by the Opposition Congress and BJP over alleged irregularities in paddy procurement.
As the House assembled for the day, many treasury bench members were on their feet raising slogans against the Centre, accusing it of conspiring to deprive Odisha of its share of the Mahanadi river water.
As the uproar continued, the Speaker adjourned the House till 3 pm.
Later, BJD members staged a dharna near the Mahatma Gandhi statue inside the Assembly premises, holding banners, accusing the Central government of being partial towards Chhattisgarh on the Mahanadi issue.
Though the Centre had announced its decision to form the Mahanadi tribunal last month as per a Supreme Court directive, the terms of reference have not been communicated to the state government, they said.
Slamming the state government for stalling the proceedings, Congress leader Narasingha Mishra told reporters outside the House that the ruling party and the government had the responsibility to ensure smooth functioning of the Assembly. "If protector turns predator, whom shall we approach?" he said.
Senior BJP MLA Pradip Purohit said the state government was required to furnish all information to the Mahanadi river water tribunal, while attacking the BJD for adopting disruptive means instead of discussing the issue in the House.
When the House reassembled at 3 pm, Mishra claimed that BJD legislators deliberately disrupted the proceedings in order to avoid a possible discussion on alleged irregularities in procurement of paddy in Kendrapara district in 2016.
Rejecting the claim, Government Chief Whip Amar Satpathy said the Mahanadi water issue was important for the state and BJD raised it in the interest of the people.
Unhappy over the argument, members of the Congress and the BJP staged a walkout.
The House was finally adjourned for the day after several standing committee reports were laid.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)