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Saswat Singhdeo

Bhubaneswar: Congress MLA Narasingha Mishra today slammed the Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik alleging that the latter is least concerned about rising cases of harassment against women.

Citing the rape and suicide of a minor girl in Jagatsinghpur, Mishra alleged that CM Naveen doesn't want such discussions to be held in the Assembly.

"If Chief Minister thinks that cases of harassment against women shouldn't be discussed inside the Assembly, he has no moral right to retain the CM post," said Mishra.

Speaking on the issue, BJP MLA and deputy leader of Opposition, Bishnu Charan Sethi said, "A minor girl in Jagatsinghpur district was sexually harassed by an influential person under the patronage of ruling party. Odisha govt is suppressing facts in such cases. We will raise the issue in different forums."

On the other hand, chief whip of the ruling BJD, Pramila Mallick said that the government never denied reports of harassment cases.

"Odisha government has never stated that harassment cases have completely stopped. However, the number of such incidents has come down and the accused are being punished."

Earlier in the day, Congress members created ruckus inside the House demanding Odisha Assembly Speaker Surjya Narayan Patro’s ruling in connection with the Jagatsinghpur rape and suicide case following which the House was adjourned till 3 PM today.

Later, the Speaker directed the State government to present its statement before the House tomorrow.

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