Coin drama in Orissa House
The Orissa Assembly on Monday witnessed high drama over the slapping of fines on three Congress MLAs for damaging the SSpeaker's microphone during the last monsoon session.Updated: Feb 15, 2006 02:53 IST
The Orissa Assembly on Monday witnessed high drama over the slapping of fines on three Congress MLAs for damaging the Speaker's microphone during the last monsoon session.
Carrying coins of all denominations in several cotton bags, the three MLAs - Debashis Patnaik, Nimai Sarkar and Rabindra Mallick - traded blows with Assembly employees who tried to protest their entry into well of the House.
Other Congress members also joined the protest and condemned the Speaker's decision to recover a month's salary from each of the three MLAs as part of the penalty.
In the last two sessions, the Congress MLAs demanded a rollback of the Speaker's decision. The MLAs carried coins to the tune of Rs 20,000, which they reportedly raised from their constituency as donation to pay the fine. They urged the Speaker to keep the coins and give them receipts to convince the donors.
In a comic interlude, BJD legislators tried to run away from the House with some of the bags which the Congress legislators had kept on the reporters' table. However, they were stopped by Congress leaders and the booty recovered.
Even as the Speaker adjourned the House, Congress legislators continued to create a ruckus with the bags. They insisted that they would continue with their strike till the Assembly acknowledged receiving the fines. The Speaker directed the Assembly security staff to snatch the bags from the MLAs.
The MLAs have not collected their salary for the past four months in protest against the Speaker's move. "The decision was politically-motivated. In a bid to discourage the Opposition against wrong policy decisions and corrupt practices of the BJD-BJP government, the Speaker has imposed the fines," Patnaik rued.
During a protest against the signing of MoUs between the state government and Posco, the MLAs had climbed on the Speaker's podium during the monsoon session and damaged the microphone.
First Published: Feb 15, 2006 01:57 IST