BJP, Cong demand law minister s removal

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Bhubaneswar, Mar 22 (PTI) There was ruckus in Odisha Assembly on Monday as opposition BJP and Congress vociferously demanded removal and arrest of law minister Pratap Jena over his alleged involvement in the the Mahanga double murder case.

The issue was raised by the opposition BJP members as soon as the house assembled for the day for question hour.

They trooped into the well of the house holding placards and banners demanding that the minister should be barred from participating in the proceedings of the house.

Senior BJP leader J N Mishra alleged that the Leader of Opposition P K Naik (BJP) is not allowed to speak on the subject as he has demanded removal of the minister whose name figures in the double murder case that took place at Mahanga in Cuttack district on Janaury 2.

He urged Speaker S N Patro to maintain neutrality so that the opposition voice is not 'suppressed'.

Naik raised the matter at zero hour and sought to know how a tainted minister can be allowed to participate in the House proceedings. He demanded a ruling from the speaker for Jena's dismissal from the ministry and proper investigation against him.

The minister is an accused in the killing of BJP leader Kulamani Baral and Divyasingha Baral of Mahanga area.

Of the 13 accused persons in the double murder case, 10 people have been arrested while another died in an accident under mysterious circumstances, he said.

Congress law maker S S Saluja demanded removal of Jena from the ministry and cited a similar ruling by former speaker Maheswar Mohanty in the past. Be it BJP or BJD, anybody involved in the heinous crime should be arrested, Saluja said.

Congress Legislature Party leader Narasingha Mishra said that while the entire country is on the boil over the farmers' agitation, the law and order situation has become a major cause of concern in Odisha.

Unable to run the House, Speaker S N Patro first adjourned to proceeding till 11.30 am and later till the post lunch session till 4 pm.

BJP and Congress activists have been staging agitations outside the House demanding resignation of Jena, who represents Maganga assembly segment in Cuttack in the Assembly The BJP has alleged that its two senior leaders Kulamani Baral (75) and Divyasingha Baral (82) were eliminated for highlighting irregularities in the Pradhan Mantri Awas Yojana. PTI AAM KK KK