Odisha Sun Times Bureau
Bhubaneswar, Dec 5:
Stalemate continued in the winter session of Odisha Assembly today as opposition members created ruckus in the House demanding Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s apology over the incident of some women being forced to take off their black stoles and shawls before entering the CM’s meeting venue in Sundargarh yesterday.
As the House assembled for the day, Congress and BJP members rushed to the well of the House shouting slogans and demanding apology from Patnaik in the incident.
Congress Chief Whip Tara Prasad Bahinipati stood on a chair and tried to snatch Speaker Niranjan Pujari’s microphone.
Unable to run the House, Speaker Pujari adjourned the Assembly till 3 PM.
As the House reassembled at 3 PM, din continued to prevail as Opposition members resorted to sloganeering demanding CM’s apology and discussion over Japanese Encephalitis.
The Speaker again adjourned the House till 5 PM and called for an all-party meeting to resolve the logjam.
“The women were harassed on the pretext of CM’s security. This is painful and unfortunate. The Chief Minister should apologise for this incident,” said Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra.
“During election, the BJD had promised of respect to mothers and work for villages. But black stoles were removed from women at the CM’s meeting. This is an insult for the women. The CM should apologise unconditionally,” said Bahinipati.
Comparing the incident with Draupadi’s vastra harana in Mahabharat, BJP MLA Pradip Purohit said that women have been disrespected against the promise of respect to them.
However, BJD MLA and spokesperson Dibyashankar Mishra said Opposition stalled the House intentionally as it had no issues to raise in the Assembly.
“The incident didn’t take place under CM’s direction. The local administration takes decision over CM’s security during his visit,” said BJD MLA and spokesperson Amar Prasad Satpathy.
Notably, security agencies (including Odisha police) in charge of Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s event at Mangaspur in Sundargarh district yesterday were seen forcing women participants to take off their black colour stoles and shawls before entering the meeting venue.
Even though many of the women were visibly upset and did protest, some of the women constables were seen pushing and shoving them in a bid to ensure no one uses garments as black flags or use them as a mean to oppose the Chief Minister.