Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, May 13:
In a shocking turn of events in Odisha Assembly, the agitating SC/ST MLAs of Congress and BJP today begged and prostrated before Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik seeking implementation of Odisha Reservation of Vacancies (ORV) Act that provides for 38 per cent quota for SC/ST students in medical and engineering colleges.
The incident occurred this morning when the legislators, who had been on a dharna under the podium of the Speaker going against his ruling, got up all of a sudden and started moving towards Naveen making begging gestures with their shirts and kurtas folded like begging bowls.
Chief Minister Patnaik, however, looked the other way and left the House in a huff. The very moment, the legislators bowed down and prostrated before Patnaik to press for their demand.
The Speaker adjourned the House till 12.30 PM immediately after the incident amidst chaos.
Speaking to reporters outside the Assembly, Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra called it a “black day” in the history of Odisha.
“The legislators went on to plead and prostrate before the Leader of the House in the House itself; however, the Chief Minister is silent. It is a black day in the democratic history of Odisha,” said Mishra.
BJD, on the other hand, denounced the incident.
“The government is trying to do everything to consider their demand. However, they have been staging dharna inside the Assembly against the ruling of the Speaker. Today, what they did is even worse. The sanctity of the House should not be violated,” said BJD spokesperson Sashi Bhusan Behera.