Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

If anything, the Opposition was in a loss to understand as to who should educate the chief minister that it is becoming of him to remain present in the House when important issues germane to his portfolios were being discussed!

Naveen Patnaik’s habitual absence has irritated the Opposition if the concern expressed during zero hour of 25 Nov.05 relays any indication.

The State is rocked by events of mayhem perpetrated by mafia in fixing up of official tenders that has denuded Orissa not only of her exchequer but also of her peace and tranquility. Top executives including politicians in and out of power are involved as per revelations in course of enquiry. People want to know the details. The Chief Minister has refused to ask the C.B.I. to find out the facts. He has, instead, relied upon the crime branch Police under his control while assuring the Opposition to apprise them of details of the sordid matter. But as time marched, he has refused to reveal the names of persons figuring in the mafia list. Over and above this he has preferred not to remain present. Therefore, Opposition wondered, is he evading?

Deputy leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra came out heavily on the Chief Minister alleging that even though the CM was entailed by law to answer to his specially mentioned query within 48 hours, he has neither given the a written answer nor has remained present to answer it orally.

Speaker Maheshwar Mohanty came to the rescue of the CM. He informed from the Chair that the CM has submitted his answer, which would be delivered by agriculture minister on his behalf. It was stoutly objected to by Opposition.

But the issue of the Chief Minister remaining absent from Hall remained unanswered.

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