Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
Opposition decided to remain silent. But their silence stonewalled the House like never before. The ministry of Navin Patnaik was too demoralized to run the business of the House for more than a hundred minutes on August 28.
The catastrophic collapse of law and order implementation in the State that has culminated in unprecedented communal carnage following killing of Hindu communal leader Laxmanananda is so serious that the Opposition has been stressing on formation of an all-party-committee to overview the situation and to use collective wisdom for restoration of social harmony and peace. But the government did not bother to care.
As the House was called to business at 10.30 a.m., deputy leader of Opposition, Mr. Narasingh Mishra wanted to put on records the concern that the Chief Minister’s conduct is not conducive to democratic norms that the House stands for.
The CM has failed to understand how Opposition is important to democracy.
He has not thought it prudent to take the Opposition to confidence in tackling communal conflicts that has set the state on fire.
Pointing out how a partner in coalition ministry, the BJP, has been caught red-handed when a nephew of its top-ranking leader B.P.Agrawal was arrested by Kendrapada police in bomb throwing offence, Mishra regretted that the CM is more partisan than prudent and it is futile to voice concern when the CM does not hear. He therefore declared to silently protest against the ongoing misrule.
Veterans of Opposition spoke in his support and the Opposition joined him in a silent Dharana in the well of the House before the Speaker’s podium. As adjournment after adjournment went in vein, the Speaker adjourned the House to 3pm. But, as the House resumed, Misra insisted upon urgent formation of all party committee for proper assessment and remedy of the communal flare-up. His words not heeded to, the Opposition again resorted to silent protests.
The Speaker, not knowing how to overcome the silent stonewalling, adjourned the House for the day, with only a Bill on Orissa’s name spelling somewhat passing unopposed.