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PTI

Odisha Assembly on Wednesday witnessed chaotic scenes as opposition Congress members objected to Minister of State for Home D S Mishra, who was an accused in the kidnap and murder of a woman school teacher in Kalahandi, being allowed to make a statement on the law and order situation.

The Congress MLAs had urged Speaker S N Patro to ask Parliamentary Affairs Minister B K Arukha to make a statement on poll violence and law and order, instead of Mishra. However, Patro rejected the proposal and allowed Mishra to speak.

Angry Congress MLAs subsequently walked out of the House and staged a dharna before marching to the Raj Bhavan. The legislators submitted a memorandum to Governor Ganeshi, observing that allowing a tainted minister to make a statement in the assembly was not acceptable in Parliamentary democracy.

The winter session of the assembly was completely washed out due to the agitation demanding removal of Mishra from the council of ministers. And today, the Speaker permitted the tainted minister to speak in the House, Congress Legislature Party leader Narasingha Mishra told reporters.

"How can ministers accused of having connections with murder accused address the assembly?" said Senior Congress member Taraprasad Bahinipati.

BJP chief whip Mohan Majhi, who had served notice for a debate on the admissibility of an adjournment motion on poll violence and deteriorating law and order, then led a walkout by party members, expressing displeasure over the reply of the minister.

Narasingha Mishra also said the police probed into the woman teacher's murder case, but did not investigate allegations of the minister's involvement in the matter.

"Therefore, the investigation is not complete," he added.

The 24-year-old teacher of a private school at Mahaling in Kalahandi district was kidnapped and murdered in October 8 last year.

The president of the school managing committee has been arrested as a prime accused and it was alleged that he is a close aide of the minister, who frequently visited the school and took undue interest in its management.

D S Mishra, in his statement, said the law and order situation in Odisha was by and large peaceful, and the State Election Commission conducted the panchayat polls smoothly.

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