Bhubaneswar | With only two days left for the first session of 16th Odisha Assembly to begin, the newly elected BJP MLAs on Sunday authorised party president Amit Shah to announce the name of the legislature party leader.
The decision was taken at a meeting attended among others by central observer Saroj Pandey and Union Petroleum and Steel Minister Dharmendra Pradhan for the election of BJP’s legislative party leader.
The BJP Legislature Party leader will eventually be the Leader of Opposition in the assembly as the saffron party had emerged as the second largest party with 23 members after 111 legislators of the ruling BJD.
BJP Odisha unit president and newly elected Lok Sabha member Basant Panda told reporters after the meeting that the leader of the legislature party has been chosen and the party president will announce the name.
He said the MLAs presented their views and adopted a resolution authorising the party’s national president to announce the name of the leader.
BJP’s Dhamnagar MLA Bishnu Charan Sethi said the legislators have decided that the national president of the party will declare it before the assembly session commences on June 25.
Sethi said BJP, during the forthcoming assembly session, will raise several major issues including huge vacancies of doctors in hospitals and medical colleges, lack of teachers in schools and absence of proper measures to check floods during the monsoon.
Among those in the race for the post of legislature party were Sambalpur MLA Jayanarayan Mishra and Bhawanipatna legislator Pradipta Nayak.
Congress, which has 9 MLAs in the house, claimed that BJP will not be able to perform as the main opposition.
Senior Congress leader and Jatni MLA Suresh Routray alleged that BJD and BJP are like two sides of a coin and the saffron party has lost the credibility to be described as the Opposition party.
“Both the BJD and the BJP are foes outside and friends inside. We cannot expect BJP to work as an opposition party,” he said.