CM asks Hikaka to relax, questions Maoist demand

Bhubaneswar: Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday asked his party MLA Jhina Hikaka to "relax" and questioned why the legislator should quit, as demanded by the Maoists before his releases on April 26.

"The BJD president told me that I looked depressed and asked me to relax with my family and friends and be free of tension of any kind (threat of resignation), as I have spent 34 days in the jungle," Hikaka told reporters after a 90 minute meeting with Patnaik at the Naveen Niwas.

He said that the chief minister told him not to think about his terrible ordeal in Maoist captivity. "It is a great relief for all to us. We are very relieved," Patnaik told Hikaka who along with wife Kausalya and two little sons, minister Ramesh Majhi and MLA Monohar Randhari met him.

Patnaik said that Hikaka along with his family, would stay at the MLA quarters here. "Why should anyone who has been elected democratically resign under pressure? I do not believe in that at all," Patnaik had earlier said replying a question whether Hikaka should resign as per the decision of Maoist `praja` court.

The Maoist while releasing Hikaka from captivity had asked him to resign within 15 days. Hikaka had also given a written assurance to the `praja` court to resign as MLA snap ties with his party. Hikaka, without clearing the air, had said on Sunday said that a new audio tape from the Moaists would remove all confusion relating to his resignation and everything would be clear.