Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
If passing of some Law Bills as well as the Appropriation Bill – in a condition where legislative wisdom of the Opposition is not honored as the basic necessity – is counted as success of the Government, failure of democracy would stand synonymous with this success.
Failure of democracy needs no proof, as the winter session of the Assembly has been pushed into premature death today, when the House has been adjourned sine die.
By the day the Assembly was to commence, the State was entirely in turmoil due to exposure that chit fund cheats have bilked thousands of crores of rupees from more than one-fourth of the population of Orissa. Some of the close associates of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik were in judicial custody as under-trial offenders, when some more were in the investigation chamber of CBI under orders of the Supreme Court.Intriguing attempts of the State Government to use the Supreme Court to keep the CBI away from investigation into chit fund scams was not only rocking the minds of the people, but also was moving the needle of suspicion towards Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik who was marked for his patronizing cooperation with a chit fund swindling outfit SeaShore. Advocate General of the Government was apprehended by CBI for his dubious deal with another chit fund cheat under the banner name: Artha Tattwa. Shockingly, another man who was lawyer of chit fund cheat Prasant Dash was appointed as the new Advocate General, when the State was expected to prosecute the chit fund swindler. Alok Jena’s case in the Supreme Court had pointed out who of Naveen’s ministerial and party colleagues had taken how many crores of rupees from the chit fund operators; but they were not daring to counter Jena’s allegation. In such a situation, the Chief Minister was sure to have feared that the Opposition may strip him layer by layer in the Assembly over the chit fund scams. He would have been happy if the session could have not been convened. But, that was not within his power, as the supplementary budget was to be adopted and a few Law Bills were to be passed.
The House had commenced with adjournment and call-attention notices from the Opposition and the Treasury benches on the chit fund issue.
That was most troublesome for the CM.
Treasury bench members were eager to protect him at any cost, because their survival in politics was linked to his clean image.
Deliberately, therefore, a minister – Pradeep Maharathy – hurled sexual slangs at a lady member of the BJP – Radharani Panda – in the hall of the Assembly in order to provoke acrid commotions that would make the Speaker adjourn the House. Almost three days were lost to this design.
Modus operandi of the Chief Minister became clear when the treasury bench engineered adjournments under pretense of State Interest, after the House had regained normalcy with Maharathy apologizing to Ms. Panda for the nasty words he had hurled.
Further stronger methods to keep the House adjourned were devised in the guise of advice of the aforesaid Advocate General that has culminated in adjournment sine die today.
The irony is that when the CM had not opened his lips in the House to revive the climate for it to proceed, after declaration of sine die closure, he has come out with words of allegation that the Assembly had to be adjourned sine die; because, the Opposition did not allow it to proceed. What a farce Mr. Patnaik has made of democracy in Orisa!