Bhubaneswar, Feb 15 (IANS) The Orissa assembly was adjourned several times Tuesday, the second day of its budget session, as the opposition disrupted proceedings demanding the resignation of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik over the pulses scam.
As soon as question hour started, Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh of the Congress stood up and wanted to draw the attention of the speaker to the alleged scam involving the supply of low quality pulses in the mid-day meal scheme and to women.
As the speaker did not pay any heed, other Congress members trooped to the speaker’s podium. Many of them were carrying infected pulses they collected from different districts.
The Congress members shouted slogans, placed the pulses on the reporters’ table as well as on speaker’s podium, making it impossible for Speaker Pradip Amat to conduct business during question hour.
The speaker first adjourned the house during question hour. As the opposition remained adamant, the house was again adjourned till afternoon and later adjourned for the day.
The alleged scam came to light after the vigilance department last month claimed that there were irregularities in the purchase of pulses for the mid-day meal scheme and the supplementary nutrition programmes meant for children and women in the state.
Women and Child Development Minister Pramila Mallik resigned Feb 5 and at least three senior government officers face action over the scandal.
The government has also ordered criminal proceedings against those who supplied the low quality pulses.
The opposition, however, said the steps taken by the government were a mere eyewash and wants the resignation of the chief minister over the issue. The budget session is being held in two phases Feb 14-24 and March 11-April 8.