BJP MLAs return to House, accuse Speaker of denying leader ofoppn to speak

Bhubaneswar, Nov 18 (PTI) Opposition BJP MLAs who havebeen on a dharna in the Assembly premises demanding a CBIprobe into the mysterious death of a woman panchayat official,on Monday returned to the House after two days, but againaccused Speaker S N Patro of not allowing the Leader of theOpposition to speak on the matter.

The BJP law-makers were staging a silent dharna nearthe Mahatma Gandhi statue in the Assembly premises sinceSaturday. They had boycotted the proceedings alleging thatthey are not allowed to speak on the death of the womanpanchayat official in Jajpur district.

'We returned to the House in the post-lunch sessiontoday as per the request of the Speaker. But, he did not allowme to complete my speech and all off a sudden adjourned theproceedings till tomorrow. This appears indecent inParliamentary democracy,' Leader of Opposition Pradipta KumarNaik told PTI outside the House.

They had protested in the House by covering theirmouths with black scarves before going to stage the dharnanear the Gandhi statue. The party MLAs led by Naik had alsowalked to the Raj Bhavan earlier on Monday and submitted amemorandum drawing the attention of the Governor Ganeshi Lalin this regard.

Naik said they agreed to return to the House afterSpeaker Patro sent a delegation comprising ParliamentaryAffairs Minister B K Arukha and government chief whip PramilaMallick to them.

'However, I feel humiliated again when the speaker allof a sudden adjourned the House in middle of my speech,' Naiksaid adding that his party leaders are deliberating on thenext course of action.

Asked why they agreed to return to House beforefulfilment of their demands, Naik said, 'We know there areseveral issues to be discussed in the House. The BJP does notwant to waste public money by paralyzing the House. Therefore,we returned.' In his speech, Naik reiterated his party's demand fora CBI probe into the death of panchayat extension officerSmitarani Biswal, whose body was found in a private guesthouse owned by a BJD leader in Jajpur district on October 16.

'We demand the accused be booked for murder instead ofabetment to suicide. This apart, we also demand the arrest offour others who were present at the guest house duringSmitarani's death. It is a clear case of rape and murder,'Naik said.

He also demanded action against the Jajpur SP who wasallegedly indulged in character assassination of the deceased.

Naik said, the Speaker suddenly adjourned the Housewhen he raised an issue relating to financial transactionbetween the arrested person and a private company.

The members of the BJP have been demanding a CBIinvestigation into the Smitarani Biswal death case sinceNovember 13, the first day of the winter session of theAssembly. PTI AAMNN NN