The impasse in the Odisha assembly over the power tariff hike continued for the second consecutive day on Thursday as the opposition Congress and BJP reiterated their demand for rolling back the hike. As soon as question hour began, the opposition members, waving banners and posters, rushed to the well of the house and shouted slogans against the power tariff increase.
The speaker adjourned the house thrice as normalcy did not return even after repeated attempts. Speaker Niranjan Pujari conveyed a meeting of the Business Advisory Committee to resolve the impasse. However, the meeting failed to arrive at any conclusion as the opposition members stuck to their demand of rolling back the hike.
“The discussion was held to take steps to decrease the power tariff announced by the Odisha Electricity Regulatory Commission (OERC). The hike was effected against the direction of Odisha High Court. It should be rolled back,” said leader of opposition Narasingh Mishra.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Bikram Keshari Arukh said he needs some time to discuss the issue and end the logjam in the assembly. “I, speaker and energy minister would sit together to discuss the issue. We are trying to resolve the impasse in the assembly,” said Arukh.
However, the treasury and opposition members blamed each other for the stalemate. “We are only raising an issue that the people are agitated about. The only way out of the impasse is the rollback of the decision,” Congress member Anshuman Mohanty said.
The ruling BJD, however, blamed the opposition for the stalemate. “The opposition must give an opportunity to the energy minister to explain why this tariff hike had become inevitable. After all, Gridco has to pay Rs.750 crore to the NTPC towards purchase of power,” said BJD MLA Dibyashankar Mishra. (IANS)