Dalit MLA served food separately at official meeting

Bhubaneswar: In a shocking incident, a dalit BJD MLA on Friday alleged he was denied food with others at an official meeting due to "caste discrimination", and sought the intervention of Assembly Speaker in the matter.

Kashinath Mallik, who represents Daspall in the Assembly, met Speaker Pradip Kumar Amat and drew his attention towards the alleged discrimination.

"While three other MLAs of Nayagarh district and Kandhamal MP were served food in a room with dignity, I was given food in a leaf plate outside," Mallik said in a written complaint to the Speaker.

The alleged incident took place when Mallik was attending a meeting convened by the project director of District Rural Development Agency (DRDA) on July 20. Besides three MLAs and one MP, the district collector and PD, DRDA attended the meeting.

"I feel humiliated and do not understand why such thing happens to me alone," Mallik told PTI adding that the district authorities meted such behaviour to him as he belonged to scheduled caste.

Mallik had earlier lodged a complaint with police against Kandhamal MP Rudra Madhav Ray accusing him of publicly humiliating him by taking the name of his caste.

"The allegation made by the MLA is untrue. We had invited him to dine with others. But he did not come to the room. Above all the PD, DRDA has said "sorry" to him if he was hurt," Nayagarh district collector Aravind Agarwal told PTI over phone.