Odisha assembly decides to reduce days of sitting in a year

Bhubaneswar : The Odisha assembly Thursday passed a motion to reduce the mandatory provision of 60 days’ sitting of the assembly in a year, despite protests by the opposition.

Henceforth, the assembly speaker can curtail the number of sitting days after a resolution is passed in the house.

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“Now, the house will take a decision on curtailing the sitting days. A resolution will be passed in the assembly to reduce the sitting days. The decision was taken after the house could not run for mandatory 60 days in a calendar year,” government chief whip Anant Das told the media.

The Biju Janata Dal leader Thursday brought the motion in the house to amend the provision of mandatory 60 days’ sitting in the state assembly.

It was mandated since 2005 that the days of sitting of the Odisha assembly would be at least 60 days in a year as per the rules of procedure and conduct of business in the assembly.

The rules committee of the assembly headed by Speaker Niranjan Pujari decided Nov 25 to amend the provision requiring the house to meet at least for 60 days in a calendar year.

However, the opposition parties – the Congress and BJP – protested the move and accused the government of trying to avoid the assembly.

“We are completely protesting it. There should be a unanimous decision to curtail the sitting days. But now, they will run the assembly with monopoly with their brute majority and adjourn the house any day,” said Congress legislator Anshuman Mohanty, the lone member from the opposition on the rules committee.

BJP legislator Pradeep Purohit told reporters that with the amendment of the rules, it will become easier for the government to avoid discussion of burning issues in the house.