Bhubaneswar, 28/11: Rising crimes against women and farmers’ issues dominated the winter session of Odisha assembly. Besides, the issue of alleged Pak link in a city hospital management and the Hyderabad trip of tourism minister with two women friends on government cost kept the House on boil.
In a bid to corner the Naveen Patnaik government, the opposition Congress and BJP raised the issue of Haridaspur panchayat executive officer Smitarani Biswal’s mysterious death since the Day 1. While the Congress continued to raise the issue in the House for five days, the BJP boycotted the assembly proceedings and continued dharna outside the assembly. While the Opposition sought a CBI inquiry into the mysterious death of the lady PEO in the guest house of a ruling party leader, the government rejected the demand saying that the state police had taken prompt and proper action.
Even chief minister Naveen Patnaik asked the Opposition not to politicise human tragedy, especially relating to women. “My government is committed to safeguard the safety, security and dignity of women”, he said.
But as if the issue of growing crimes against women refused to die down, the Opposition caused uproar in the House by raising the issue of a dalit girl being forced to commit suicide after she was allegedly raped.
The introduction of token system by the state government for purchase of paddy from the farmers also generated much heat in the House and outside, forcing the government to hold negotiation with the agitators and modify the token system.
As if this was not enough, the Opposition put the government into tizzy by raising the twin issue of the alleged Pak link in a city hospital management and the state tourism minister sponsoring the Hyderabad trip of two accompanying women friends out of the government expense. The twin issues kept the government on defensive, even as denied the Opposition charges.
The Opposition also drew the attention of the House to the difficulties people facing to obtain driving license and other documents in view of the impending resumption of vehicle check from December 1, forcing the government to relax the rules by another three months.
The House also gave its nod to the Rs 8200 crore and odd supplementary budget for the current financial year, which was presented by the state government on the opening day of the session.