ORISSA ASSEMBLY ABORTS BUSINESS: SPEAKER BLAMED FOR INTIMIDATION

Subhas Chandra Pattanayak

Speaker Maheswar Mohanty clarifies that he has not told to beat up any member of the Opposition. He has only said that the people will beat them up. He admitted that he used the word “Pitibe” meaning the people will beat them up. Tara Pr. Bahinipati, Congress MLA declares that the Speaker told him, “Pitibi. Ethi pitibi, bahare bi pitibi”, meaning “I will beat you up. I will beat you up here as well as outside”. Bahinipati was heard saying, “Pitiba? Chala keunthi pitiba”. (“You shall beat me? Ok. Let me see”.

Unprecedented is this acrimony in legislative annals of Orissa. But leadership of the State has fallen in such hands. The house has aborted its business for the day today, Feb. 15, 2006, when the State was awaiting the Chief Minister’s version on Kalinga Nagar Massacre.

Alleging that the threat to beat up is an act of criminal intimidation resorted to by the Speaker against participating members of the Opposition in whom the Government sees disadvantage, the Opposition raised vociferous protests and railed against the Speaker. Congress legislator, Anup Sai climbed up to the table of the Speaker even as Bahinipati threw away the microphone to the floor from there.

Leader of Opposition J.B.Patnaik has expressed deep shock over deterioration of decency and democratic impartiality expected of the Speaker of the House. A sitting chairman of Redhakhol Panchayat Samiti, Harekrushna Pradhan, belonging to Congress was shot dead by the Police in the early morning, a local branch of nationalized Panjab National Bank was plundered by armed rubbers at the beginning of business in the morning (later it transpired that a sum of Rs. 22.84 lakhs was looted), continuing unrest amongst teachers and employees over and above congregation of displaced people from Kalinga Nagar in the Capital city without any remedy or redress of their grievances were too clamant matters to be ignored and hence the Opposition demand for immediate stock-taking of these matters was absolutely in conformity with responsibility of the Opposition and was proper and justified. To intimidate members who were putting premium on this responsibility was not only bad but also unbecoming of a Speaker, Sri Patnaik said.

Looks like anarchy has taken over the Assembly.

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