BJP demands apology from BJD MLAs for comments against PM

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Bhubaneswar: The Odisha assembly today witnessed repeated adjournments due to noisy protests by opposition BJP members demanding an apology from two BJD MLAs who made “derogatory” remarks against Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

The BJP members stormed into the well of the House during the Zero Hour as soon as BJD MLA Mahesh Sahoo made the “derogatory” comments against Modi over his remarks on poverty in Odisha at an election rally in Uttar Pradesh some days ago.

“Odisha contributes about Rs 80,000 crore annually to the Centre. About 50 per cent of India gets electricity by using coal produced in the state. Still, Prime Minister Narendra Modi could dare to insult Odisha at a public meeting in UP,” said Sahoo, a former BJP MLA and now a sitting BJD lawmaker.

As BJP MLAs strongly objected to the words used by Sahoo against the Prime Minister, Speaker Niranjan Pujari ordered expunction of the objectionable parts from Sahoo’s statement.

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However, the BJP members continued their protest demanding apology from Sahoo. Unable to run proceedings, Pujari adjourned the House till 12.30 pm.

When the House reassembled after the break, another BJD MLA, Samir Ranjan Dash, also made a similar statement against the Prime Minister, following which the already angry BJP members attempted to climb the Speaker’s podium. “How can the BJD MLAs make such comments against a person who is not present in the House,” asked BJP MLA Rabinarayan Naik.

Subsequently, the House was adjourned four more times as the BJP members continued to shout slogans in the Well of the House while some of them attempted to climb the Speaker’s podium.

An all-party meeting held at the Speaker’s chamber also failed to yield any result leading to adjournment of the House for the day.

Before the “derogatory” remarks against the Prime Minister, the BJP members had created a din during the Question Hour as well.

They rushed to the Well of the House protesting disciplinary action against 11 government staff by the Koraput Collector over grant of permission for landing of a helicopter used by Union minister Dharmendra Pradhan at Borigumma in the district.

Kuchinda MLA Rabinarayan Naik tried to snatch Speaker Niranjan Pujari’s mike. Amid the pandemonium, the Speaker adjourned it till 11.30 AM.

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