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Ramakanta Biswas

Bhubaneswar: After targeting Odisha government over the death of Haridaspur panchayat executive officer (PEO) Smitarani Biswal, the Opposition BJP on Monday boycotted the State Assembly proceedings and later met Governor Professor Ganeshi Lal over the issue.

BJP legislators led by Leader of Opposition Pradipta Naik boycotted ongoing winter session of the House and staged a dharna near Mahatma Gandhi's statue in front of the Assembly. Later, they took out a rally to meet the Governor.

The BJP leaders intimated the Governor about the lady PEO death issue and demanded that a case must be registered against the accused persons under Section 302 of IPC.

The BJP MLAs alleged that although they have been trying to seek government's attention for a discussion over the issue since the commencement of the session in the House, they have not been allowed to speak.

“Names of four persons involved in the lady PEO death have been dropped from the case. Prime accused Rupesh Bhadra hasn't been booked under IPC Section 302. We are also not allowed to speak anything on this in the House,” alleged Pradipta Naik.

“We demand all the accused should be booked under Section 302 and a CBI probe should be initiated into the case,” he added.

On the other hand, BJD chief whip Pramila Mallick criticised the protest by BJP.

“Apart from Smitarani’s death, there are many important issues like farmers' agitation and labour migration in the State which the BJP leaders could discuss in the Assembly. Since we are elected public representatives and people's money is spent on conduct of sessions, so I expect that legislators should realise the value of public money,” said Mallick.

“The BJP leaders are intentionally launching such protests to remain in news,” she added.

Congress leader Santosh Singh Saluja however called upon the Opposition BJP leaders to attend Assembly proceedings for the general good.

"BJP is the main Opposition and they have significant information about the lady PEO death case. Congress leaders too have highlighted different facts pertaining to the matter so it would be better if we all stand united in the House and corner the government," said Saluja.

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