Uproar in Assembly over Odisha Govt’s move to close schools
Bhubaneswar: Odisha Assembly on Saturday witnessed uproarious scenes with both the Congress and the BJP members cornering the BJD Government over its move to close thousands of schools across the State on the plea of less attendance.
The issue was raised in the House by Congress Legislature Party leader Narasingha Mishra. He said as education is a fundamental right for all, the State Government should immediately roll back its decision. “If schools are closed, what will be the fate of students and teachers,” Mishra asked.
Leader of the Opposition Pradipta Kumar Naik of BJP also came down heavily on the State Government and strongly criticised the decision to shut down schools on some plea or the other.
“We demand a special debate through a motion,” Naik said, adding that the School and Mass Education Minister has said that the primary and upper primary schools having less than 40 students will be merged with nearby schools. “Where will the children of such closed schools go?” he asked.
As Speaker Surjya Narayan Patro did not give any ruling on the demands of both the Naik and Mishra, the irate members of both the parties rushed to the well of the House. They urged the Speaker to convene an all-party meeting to discuss the issue.
The agitating members refused to withdraw from the well of the House forcing Speaker to adjourn the House for at least seven times. When other members were agitating in the well of the House, senior Congress member Taraprasad Bahinipati was seen banging his head against the Speaker’s podium demanding roll back of the Government’s decision.
“I will commit suicide in front of Speaker, if the schools closure decision is not changed,” Bahinipati told reporters outside the House.
Finally, Speaker Patro could resolve the issue at an all-party meeting where it was decided that the Government chief whip will bring a motion in this regard in the House for a detailed discussion on the school closure matter.