Bhubaneswar, Apr 3 (PTI) BJP MLAs continued their sit-on-dharna near Mahatma Gandhi statue here on Saturday night protesting the suspension of three of their party colleagues from the Assembly for hurling slippers and other objects targeting the Speaker's podium.
The saffron party lawmakers including a woman member Kusum Tete had their dinner and continued the dharna in the night, despite Speaker S N Patro himself coming down to request them to withdraw the agitation.
'We will sit on dharna the whole night under the open sky and will hold a press conference tomorrow. Our MLAs were suspended undemocratically by Speaker without giving them an opportunity to place their point of view,' Leader of Opposition P K Naik said.
Naik said though something unpleasant (hurling slippers) happened in the House, the speaker should have given a hearing to the accused persons before announcing the suspension order.
He said: 'Yes speaker himself came to request us to withdraw the agitation. But, I am surprised how come a speaker act at the direction of the ruling party.' Referring to the slipper hurling incident, Naik said that the BJP MLAs were agitated when speaker did not allow the Leader of Opposition to speak on the bills which were passed in a hurry. 'Now speaker says that it was a communication gap.
How can the speaker see the leader of opposition on the legs and seeking permission to speak,' Naik asked.
He said this act of speaker agitated the BJP members who have done something they should not do. 'Had they given us an opportunity, we would have tendered an apology. But, The speaker did not give us any opportunity, either to speak in the House or to place our point of view after before announcing the suspension,' Naik said.
He said let the people of Odisha see how the state Assembly is being run in a 'partisan manner and not in a democratic procedure'. PTI AAM RG RG