Orissa assembly conducts business without opposition members | india | Hindustan Times
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Orissa assembly conducts business without opposition members

india Updated: Jul 19, 2010 16:50 IST

Deadlock in Orissa assembly continued for the fifth day on Monday as opposition Congress and BJP MLAs boycotted proceedings demanding resignation of two ministers for their alleged involvement in the multi-crore linkage coal scam.

While speaker Pradip Kumar Amat conducted business of the house till 11.50 before adjourning it twice till 3 pm, the opposition Congress members sat on a dharna in front of Mahatma Gandhi statue in the assembly premises.

Question hour and zero hour passed off smoothly when ministers including chief minister Naveen Patnaik replied several questions asked by members of the treasury bench.

The lone CPI MLA, four NCP members and Bhimsen Choudhury, suspended by BJP for defying whip during June 17 Rajya Sabha polls, however, remained present in the house besides the MLAs and ministers of the ruling BJD.

Parliamentary affairs minister Raghunath Mohanty and NCP legislature party leader Amar Satpathy suggested to the speaker to conduct an all party meeting at his chamber to convince the opposition members to return to house as chief minister had already given reply on the coal scam.

"Boycotting the house is not a healthy tradition," Mohanty said adding that opposition members should participate in the proceedings of the house.

Meanwhile, though opposition Congress and BJP members attended the all party meeting at the speaker's chamber, they strongly criticised the government over absence of chief minister, who was leader of the house.

Leader of opposition Bhupinder Singh kept himself away from the discussion demanding presence of the chief minister at the all party meeting.

"The all party meeting could not reach at any conclusion," Amat told reporters after the meeting.

The opposition members, on the other hand remained firm on their stand for resignation of urban and housing minister Badri Narayan Patra and school and mass education minister Pratap Jena, accused of being part of the coal scam.

They also vowed not to return to the house unless the ministers resign from their positions in order to pave way for a neutral probe into the allegations made against them.

How can the chief minister give clean chit to the two ministers even before investigation? asked Congress chief Prasad Harichandan alleging that there was an attempt to hush up the matter.