Din in House over Dama insinuations

Bhubaneswar: The Question Hour in the Assembly was washed out for the sixth consecutive day Wednesday as Opposition members created a ruckus in the house demanding a clarification from the state government over the scams raised by senior BJD legislator Damadar Rout.
The house was adjourned twice in the pre-lunch session as members tried to climb on Speaker Pradip Kumar Amat’s podium, demanding action against defaulters.
As soon as the house assembled at 10.30 am, Opposition MLAs trooped into the well, raising slogans against the ruling party. The Congress legislators raked up the alleged sapling scam and sought to know the names of people involved in it.
Similarly, the BJP members demanded a clarification on the alleged scams in Odisha State Cooperation Bank (OSCB) and the Odisha State Cooperative Milk Producers’ Federation (Omfed).
They urged the Speaker to direct agriculture minister Pradeep Maharathy to make a statement clarifying the allegations. Amid the pandemonium, the Speaker first adjourned the house till 11:30 am and then till 3 pm.
“The agriculture minister has already acknowledged irregularities in sapling plantation project. He should now reveal the names of persons involved in the scam,” Congress chief whip Taraprasad Bahinipati told the media outside the Assembly.
Speaking to reporters outside the house, Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra said, “The agriculture minister has accepted corrupt practices in the department. The house wants to know what action and remedial steps have been taken in this regard.
“We want the CBI to probe into cooperative bank scam. Also, no action has been taken against those involved in sapling scam. The Chief Minister should clear his stance on these issues,” BJP legislator Rabi Naik said.
Lashing out at the Opposition for disturbing the house business, BJD legislator Samir Dash said, “It is sad that the house is being stalled repeatedly by the members of the Opposition for their vested interests. They need to understand that the people of Odisha will not accept such stalemate which defeats the very purpose of the house.”
Over past few days, BJD legislator Damodar Rout had brought out these irregularities. He had alleged misappropriation of Rs 30 crore in Omfed and Rs 800 crore scam in OSCB and Rs 100 crore fraud in sapling plantation under Mahatma Gandhi National Rural Employment Guarantee Scheme.