Subhas Chandra Pattanayak
To the turmoil going on in the Orissa Legislative Assembly over the Chief Minister’s black money, Police brutality in Bolangir has added fuel.

A Police van driven by a drunkard had hit a man from behind in the town of Bolangir yesterday. That had infuriated the local public leading to mass assault on the driver ans putting the vehicle to fire.

The Police resorted to brutality in retaliation. Passive onlookers were beaten up and tear gas was lavishly fired at private houses.

The Police was so mad in wrath that media persons were thrashed and TV cameras were snatched away and damaged.

The entire town has gone into a band hartal today in protest against Police brutality having its logical repercussion on the participation of members in the House. The Opposition has sharpened its stance and has stopped the House to take up scheduled business without a discussion on Police brutality at Bolangir.


Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

The Orissa Assembly is in continuous impasse over the Chief Minister’s black money.

Two of the cabinet colleagues of Chief Minister Navin Patnaik, Samir De and Golak Bihari Nayak publicly raised the allegation against him. Reluctant to stay a Minister De has resigned and his resignation has been accepted even as Nayak continues in the cabinet.

When the Assembly began its 16th session just when the allegation was rocking the State, the Opposition wanted the CM to react. He shied away. That has given birth to the impasse that continues to the total embarrassment of the Government.

Different members of the cabinet are so disturbed over the black money matter that a senior colleague of the CM has instigated the Opposition to enforce a debate in the Assembly over the issue through a no confidence motion. The Opposition has revealed his name. He is Surendranath Nayak, who was even a cabinet colleague of the CM’s father Biju Patnaik. The Speaker has added fuel to the stalemate by refusing to admit the motion on ground of paucity of time, which is being seen by the Opposition as ploy to protect the CM. There is no problem in extending the life of the session to discuss this issue which is not only an issue of accumulation of black money by the CM but also of use of black money by the CM to bribe the voters of Cuttack and Baripada urban bodies during the just concluded Municipal elections.

This is a very serious situation. The CM is clearly shying at discussion on the issue. He is so demoralized that he has not dared to use his prerogatives to drop Golak Nayak, the other minister to have raised the allegation of black money against him from his cabinet.

Unless doubts are cleared the CM would continue to be looked at askance as a man that has committed offence against democracy.

In view of this, the Speaker should review his ruling and admit the no-confidence notice given by the Opposition.

The motion will fail, because the CM has a coalition, the partners of which know that unless they stand with him, they are of such stuff that none of them will return to the Assembly again. So, the no-confidence motion will fail. Even Golak Nayak, who has raised the allegation of black money against the CM will certainly vote against the no-confidence motion.

Why the CM is not accepting the challenge? He certainly does not want a discussion on his black money on records of the House. What next?