Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The allegation is not new. Neither the ruling.

Both the allegation and the ruling thereon are germane to constitutional stipulations that the government is answerable to the House of Representatives of the people.

But who cares? Orissa Legislative Assembly has perhaps lost its significance to government officers!

During the zero hour on 25 Nov.05, Opposition Chief Whip Satyabhusan Sahu attracted attention of the chair to absence of officers in the gallery meant for them while the House was discussing primary and secondary education. The areas being in mess, the concerned officers were duty bound to remain present in the house gallery to understand where they have erred vis-à-vis pertinent legislative intention. But, they were conspicuous by their absence in the House that suggested that the present political regime is too demoralized to have any control over the bureaucracy. They must be made to attend the House during discussion on their subjects, demanded the Opposition.

The position did not improve. Has the House lost its significance to the government officers? – the Opposition Chief Whip wondered when the Assembly resumed after lunch. Deputy Speaker Mr.Prahllad Dora, chairing the House, was shown as to how despite the Zero hour concern the officers were absent in their gallery oblivious of the debates to be taken up. Then the ruling came.

They must be present in the House during debates on their respective departments as this is entailed by democracy, he declared and hoped that this ruling would be honored.

Let us wait and watch.

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