The Assembly Imbroglio: Loser is the Chief Minister

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Despite fabulous majority – 117 members in a 147 seater Assembly – Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik looks like a pathetic loser, as a mere 30 member strong multi-party Opposition has put him on the mat where he does not dare to open his mouth.

At the crux of this imbroglio lies the chit fund felony.

Significantly, the Opposition is not holding the Cabinet, as a whole, responsible for this, whereas it has unambiguously pointed out at Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who seems to have acted God Father to at least one of the crooks – Prasant Dash of SeaShore.

It should have been proper for Naveen to explain his position; because he is not an individual alone, but a Chief Minister.

It is not becoming of a Chief Minister to use silence as the best method of defense.

On the 14th day of its commencement, Orissa Assembly collapsed again to adjournment till 3 PM today after less than a minute of beginning of the Question Hour.

At par with our views, the daily Sanchar, founded and guided by the most astute member of Naveen’s cabinet Dr. Damodar Raut, also has opined that, the Chief Minister shouldn’t shy at the Opposition in the chit fund matter and rather should put forth with honesty the details of the scam as has come out in course of investigation, so that denigration of the image of the Government in the eyes of the people may stop.

But, instead of correcting himself, the Chief Minister has taken refuge in the ruling of the Speaker that the chit fund matter being sub judice, cannot be subjected to debates of the House.

This plea is abysmally poor.

From what the Opposition is stressing upon, it is clear that, it wants accounts of the Chief Minister on his suspected link with chit fund crooks. The Chief Minister’s link with chit fund crooks is never before any court of law. So, it is not acceptable that the matter is sub judice. It would fit better to legislative magnanimity if the Speaker recalls his ruling and allows debates on chit fund felony without any prejudice to matters before the court. Assembly secretariat should be used to apprise the members of what exactly is su judice. Beyond that, free debate on chit fund should be allowed.

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