Alleged Pipili rape issue rocks assembly

Bhubaneswar: Protesting Speaker`s refusal to allow for a debate on the sensational Pipili rape case, opposition Congress today boycotted assembly amidst pandemonium during most of the day. "We will not attend assembly proceedings unless the speaker accepts the adjournment motion notice given by our party," leader of opposition Bhupinder Singh announced before leading a walkout.

Alleging that the political arrogance of the ruling BJD has destroyed the democratic process in the assembly, Congress chief whip Prasad Harichandan said, "It was simply a dishonour to democracy as the Speaker deprived the members from discussing a sensitive and important matter like the rising atrocities on women". The issue was first raised during the question hour by Singh who wanted to know about the fate of the adjournment notice given by his party to the Speaker three days ago. "How can the speaker deny permission to hold a debate on the recent incident like a series of rapes in different places of the state," he asked.

While rejecting the opposition notice on adjournment motion, Speaker Pradip Kumar Amat, however, said, "I am disallowing the debate on the issue as it is not recent one. I can only allow a debate on an issue which occurred recently". Annoyed over Speaker`s ruling, opposition members rushed to the well and shouted anti-government slogans while some of them attempted to climb the speaker`s podium.Speaker`s ruling, opposition members rushed to the well and shouted anti-government slogans while some of them attempted to climb the speaker`s podium.

The house was adjourned twice during the pre-lunch session while the opposition members boycott the proceeding after the House reassembled after the lunch. "We believe the speaker is not allowing discussion on issues related to chief minister`s department. Since Naveen Patnaik is holding home portfolio, the speaker is not allowing a debate on it," Singh told reporters outside the house. Though the government had been publicly speaking that it was ready for discussion on any matter, the speaker was not giving permission for the same, pointed out Harichandan. The house, however, debated on the demand of the revenue and disaster management department in absence of the Congress MLAs.