Oppn demand Minister’s statement on starvation death

Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Assembly today witnessed pandemonium over the alleged starvation death of a man in Kalahandi district with the opposition Congress and BJP demanding a statement from the government.

The issue was raised by Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra during Zero Hour when he quoted media reports and said a mentally challenged person identified as Rankanidhi Khura (39) had died of starvation on March 25 at Balichhara village under Junagarh block of Kalahandi district.

Mishra said Rankanidhi’s mother Chandrabati Khura and his mentally challenged elder brother Dayanidhi Khura were also suffering starvation.

Describing the matter as “serious if it is true”, Mishra urged Speaker Niranjan Pujari to give a ruling to the state Revenue minister to make a statement in the House on the issue.

He said the district Collector and Chief Secretary of Odisha should be held responsible for the alleged starvation death in Kalahandi.

While Speaker Pujari did not give any ruling, the opposition Congress and BJP members rushed to the Well of the House and raised anti-government slogans demanding a statement from the Revenue minister on the matter.

As the din continued, Speaker Pujari adjourned the House for nearly an hour shortly before noon.

BJP legislature party leader K V Singhdeo demanded a clarification from the state government on the alleged starvation death.

BJD member D S Mishra, however, rejected the allegation and claimed the mentally challenged person died due to illness and not of starvation as reported in the media. PTI AAM DKB