Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Congress member Tara Pr. Bahinipati fell down senseless when he was trying to climb on the Speaker’s podium even as business of the House remain halted for the ninth consecutive day on March 30, 2006. Opposition alleges that he was rendered senseless by the security personnel trained recently in martial art.

The Speaker does not agree. Bahinipati was perhaps exhausted under ultra activism, he says.

The Opposition has been trying to make the Government answerable to the Assembly in the matter of hooch tragedy that caused at least 30 deaths in the district of Ganjam in the last fortnight. The Excise Minister Kalandi Behera, under whose umbrage corrupt officers were patronizing the hooch trade, must resign or be dismissed so that enquiry over the tragedy does not get lost in the labyrinth of an administration that should be working under control of the said minister. As the tragedy happened when the Assembly was in session and as the Government has announced a judicial inquiry when the session is continuing, the Opposition interprets that constitution of the said commission of inquiry would automatically carry its consent. Therefore the Opposition is determined to see that the inquiry is not eclipsed by the presence of the Minister in the department.

But neither the Minister wants to relinquish nor the Chief Minister makes him relinquish the portfolio. This is interpreted by Opposition as refusal of the Government to remain answerable to the House. How can we allow the House to continue under such shadows? The Opposition justifies its stand with this question.

This principled stand is not of course understood by many.

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