Bhubaneswar, Mar 31 (PTI) The Odisha Assembly was today adjourned twice amid an uproar by the Congress members over irregular convening of Tribes Advisory Council (TAC) meetings.
Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra raised the matter during the Question Hour, when ST and SC Development Minister Ramesh Chandra Majhi was replying to a query on the advisory council.
TAC comprises 20 members, including 15 MLAs or MPs of tribal communities, with Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik as its chairperson.
Mishra said the TAC, set up for the welfare of the tribal community in the state, should meet at least twice a year.
Majhi, on his part, said the meetings could not be held at regular intervals due to unavoidable reasons.
Not satisfied with the Minister’s reply, Mishra said the CM has not shown interest in convening TAC meets in the past five years.
“We demand an unconditional apology from the government with an assurance to conduct TAC meeting twice a year beginning from the next month,” Mishra added.
The Congress members, led by the Opposition chief whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati, rushed to the well of the House and started shouting slogans against the government. They urged Speaker Pradip Amat to seek a clarification from the chief minister on this issue.
As the Speaker ignored their demand and sought the continuation of the Question Hour session, the Congress members created a ruckus in the House, disrupting the proceedings.
Unable to run the Assembly, the Speaker adjourned proceedings till 11.30 am.
When the House reassembled for the Zero Hour at 11.30 am, the BJP members joined the Congress protest.
At least 34 TAC meetings should have been convened in the past 17 years of the BJD government, but just 15 such conferences were held so far.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.