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Odisha Assembly | 3 BJP MLAs suspended from Odisha Assembly’s Budget session

Odisha Speaker Surjya Narayan Patro conducts the Budget proceedings in Bhubaneshwar. File   | Photo Credit: Biswaranjan Rout

Hours after shoes were hurled at Surjya Narayan Patro, Speaker of the Odisha Legislative Assembly, inside the House, three Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) legislators were on Saturday suspended from the ongoing Budget session.

The suspended BJP MLAs are Deputy Leader of the Opposition Bishnu Charan Sethi, BJP chief whip Mohan Charan Majhi, and senior member Jai Narayan Mishra.

Upset over the reported denial of the opportunity to present the party’s point of view, BJP MLAs had allegedly thrown shoes and dustbins at Mr. Patro.

As soon as the House resumed in the afternoon, the Speaker invited Leader of the Opposition Pradipta Naik, Leader of the Congress Legislative Party Narasingha Mishra, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Bikram Keshari Arukha and the State government’s chief whip Pramila Mallick to review in his chamber the video footage for ascertaining who had thrown shoes at the Chair.

After a few minutes, Mr. Patro announced the suspension of the three BJP MLAs for the violation of conduct rules. On hearing of the suspension order, BJP MLAs rushed out of the House and staged a demonstration under a statue of Mahatma Gandhi on the Assembly campus. The suspended members alleged that they had not been given an opportunity to present their views.

Earlier in the day, the BJP had taken strong exception to the rejection of its adjournment motion pertaining to massive irregularities in the mining sector in the Assembly.

“We all along have been cooperating with the Opposition parties. But they wanted a discussion on a particular issue all of sudden, which cannot be granted immediately. Shoes were hurled at Speaker by senior BJP members — Jai Narayan Mishra and Bishnu Charan Sethi,” Pramilla Mallick, the State government’s chief whip, told reporters outside the Assembly.

Ms. Mallick said Mohan Charan Majhi, the BJP’s chief whip, had also flung a headphone at the Speaker. A dustbin was thrown targeting the Chair, but it was not known who had tossed it, she said.

“The action of the Opposition party is unsavoury and condemnable. The Speaker is analysing the footage for taking action,” Ms. Mallick had said.

BJP members said the situation had come to such a pass that they did not have any option but to take such a “revolting” action.

“We wanted a detailed discussion on irregularities in the mining sector affecting the State. There was no appropriate reason for the rejection of our adjournment motion. In the past, the Chair has not allowed discussion on the sensitive paddy procurement issue. The Leader of the Opposition, who is the second most important person after the Chief Minister in the House, was not allowed to speak,” said Mr. Sethi, Deputy Leader of the Opposition.

Mr. Sethi alleged that important Bills had been being passed in the House without any discussion and that it was “unfortunate to see the undemocratic attitude of the Speaker”. He said he had not thrown any shoes.

Mr. Mishra, the BJP MLA from Sambalpur, justified the ruckus saying, “The Speaker was running the House in a partisan manner. He has shown utter disregard for laws. He was unable to explain why he had rejected the adjournment motion moved by the Opposition party.”

The Speaker should not have allowed the passage of important Bills without discussion, and even the Leader of Opposition was not allowed to speak, he said.

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Printable version | May 12, 2021 3:08:50 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/national/other-states/odisha-assembly-shoes-thrown-at-odisha-speaker-in-the-house/article34230422.ece

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