Orissa governor meets opposition to discuss manipulation complaints

March 12th, 2009 - 1:37 pm ICT by IANS  

Bhubaneswar, March 12 (IANS) Orissa Governor M.C. Bhandare has been meeting leaders of the Congress and the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) to discuss their complaint that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and his Biju Janata Dal (BJD) won the trust vote in the assembly through manipulation and foul play.
Bhandare, who also met Speaker Kishor Mohanty and discussed the matter with constitutional experts, has been examining documents related to Wednesday’s special session and has watched the video recording but has yet to respond to the opposition’s allegations.

The entire process of moving and passing the confidence motion lasted 43 minutes. There was no discussion on the trust motion. The motion was moved by the chief minister after the obituary reference to a former member and was put to voice vote amid noisy protests from the opposition benches.

Sources in Raj Bhavan said the governor was likely to decide on the matter in a day or two. He may express his satisfaction or may order a re-vote. There are also chances he may recommend president’s rule in the state.

“He gave us a patient hearing. We have faith in him,” BJP president Suresh Pujari, who was one of those who met the governor late Wednesday, told IANS.

“We told the governor that no voting machine was used and everything was done hurriedly,” Congress leader Narasimha Mishra said, adding that his party had asked the governor to dismiss the Patnaik government.

Claiming the support of 74 legislators, Patnaik had sought the trust vote Wednesday in the 147 member state assembly after it lost the support of the BJP Saturday night.

Although the speaker announced that Patnaik had won through a voice vote, the opposition alleged manipulation and said there had been no debate on the issue. They also said the speaker put the motion of confidence to a voice vote, ignoring their request for a division.

The BJD denied the charge, but the opposition members met the governor to demand president’s rule.

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