Congress stalls Odisha assembly on petrol price hike

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Bhubaneswar, March 18: State Assembly on Thursday witnessed repeated adjournments with opposition Congress stalling the proceedings demanding a discussion on the recent price hike of petrol and diesel.

Though the matter was first raised during the Zero Hour by ruling BJD member Pratap Jena, the Congress later joined in with the party members rushing to the well of the House, demanding a one-hour discussion on the subject.

Congress members raised the issue following Jena’s appeal to them to support his party’s concern over the price rise of petrol by Rs 3.07 paise per litre and Rs 1.90 paise per litre of diesel last night.

BJD leaders Pratap Jena, Mahesh Sahoo and Priyadarshi Mishra strongly criticised the NDA government for raising fuel price which would ultimately hit the common man and demanded its rollback.

Congress member Chiranji Biswal supported BJD’s concern and asked the state’s BJD government to reduce the rate of VAT on petrol and diesel to give respite to the common men.

Congress chief whip in state assembly Taraprasad Bahinipati along with his party colleagues rushed to the well of the House and demanded a discussion on the issue as Deputy Speaker Sananda Marndi allowed discussion on an adjournment notice given by the Congress members.

Unable to get an opportunity to debate on the issue, angry Congress members attempted to climb on the Speaker’s podium and snatch his mike. Marndi adjourned the House for 15 minutes twice and held a discussion with opposition members at his chamber. Finally, the House was adjourned till 3 PM as no agreement could be reached.

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BJP member Rabi Naik, however, defended the  Central government and claimed that the Narendra Modi-led government had reduced price of petrol at least nine times.

People got relaxation of upto Rs 15 per litre on petrol after the NDA government took over, Naik said and criticized the state government which increased VAT on petrol and diesel.

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