NATIONAL

Speaker asks Govt. to suspend IAS officer

BHUBANESWAR MARCH 30. The Orissa Assembly Speaker, Sarat Kumar Kar, has ordered the suspension of an Indian Administrative Service officer following allegations that the latter had misbehaved with a Minister and a senior legislator.

After a nine-hour discussion, the Speaker directed the Government on Saturday night to suspend Hrushikesh Panda, CMD, Industrial Development Corporation, pending inquiry by a House Committee.

Mr. Panda had allegedly misbehaved with the Minister of State for Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes Welfare, Balabhadra Majhi, and a senior legislator, Saharai Oram, at the guest house of Kalinga Iron Works in Barbil on March 15.

It was alleged that Mr. Mahji and Mr. Oram were abused by Mr. Panda. Also, a guest house employee was taken to task for allowing the Minister to park his car in the portico.

The House was adjourned as many as 14 times over the issue as MLAs demanded "exemplary" action against Mr. Panda.

The Government was embarrassed several times in the House as members belonging to the ruling Biju Janata Dal - Bharatiya Janata Party coalition expressed dissatisfaction over the Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik's decision to have the matter probed by the Development Commissioner.

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