Uproar in Odisha assembly over tribal land transfer issue, House adjourned till 4 PM
Bhubaneswar, Nov 23 (PTI) The Odisha assembly witnessed a ruckus by the opposition parties for the second consecutive day on Thursday over the state government's decision to allow Scheduled Tribe (ST) people to sell their land to non-tribals.
The BJP and the Congress intensified their protest in the House, demanding the roll-back of the state cabinet’s decision.
Speaker Pramila Mallik adjourned the proceeding till 4 PM, as members of the opposition trooped into the well of the House and shouted slogans against the BJD government.
After the adjournment of the House, BJP MLAs marched to Raj Bhavan to meet Governor Raghubar Das and submit a memorandum on the transfer of tribal land.
The assembly could transact business only for three minutes as Water Resources Minister Tukumi Sahoo replied to a question on irrigation facilities.
As soon as the House assembled for the Question Hour at 10.30 AM, BJP and Congress members trooped into the well and shouted slogans, demanding immediate withdrawal of the state cabinet’s decision to allow the ST people to transfer their land to non-tribals in the scheduled areas (tribal dominated areas).
Adorned ‘angabastra’ with tribal motifs, the BJP members held placards aloft and raised slogans in the House, alleging that the government’s decision would encourage corporate houses to grab tribal land in the mineral-rich areas of the state.
They demanded that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik announce the complete withdrawal of the cabinet decision on the tribal land transfer.
Congress members led by party’s whip Taraprasad Bahinipati tried to climb the Speaker’s podium and raised slogans, describing the BJD government as 'anti-tribal'.
The Congress members also demanded the proper implementation of the Panchayat Extension to Scheduled Areas (PESA) Act, 1996 in Odisha.
The state cabinet had on November 14 decided to amend the Odisha Scheduled Areas Transfer of Immovable Property (by STs) Regulation, 1956 to allow ST people to transfer their land to non-tribals in scheduled areas.
ST people, however, will need to seek written permission from sub-collectors to sell their land to non-tribals.
Following protests by the opposition at that time, the government withheld the decision two days later.
'The state government has no concern over tribal welfare though it claims to have rolled out several schemes for the tribes. The recent move of the government exposed that it has been anti-tribal. They will become landless if the state cabinet’s decision is implemented,' BJP chief whip in the assembly Mohan Majhi said.
Stating that the decision of the cabinet was against the provision of the Constitution, he said, 'We cannot understand what prompted the government to take such a decision to grab the tribal lands?' Though state Revenue and Disaster Management Minister Sudam Marandi had announced that the November 14 cabinet decision was put on hold, the BJP demands complete withdrawal of it.
Both the opposition parties asked the Speaker to allow a notice for discussion on the matter in the House. PTI AAM BDC
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