Hikaka yet to decide despite assurance of CM

Bhubaneswar: Despite being assured of safety by Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, Laxmipur MLA Jhina Hikaka today said he was yet to take a decision whether to resign as assembly member. "I have not taken any decision in this regard. The Chief Minister has advised me to relax and release tension," Hikaka told reporters at his heavily guarded residence here.

Hikaka, who was released by the Maoists captivity on April 26 after spending 34 days in jungles, said he would be visiting temples and consult people before taking any decision on resigning as MLA. The tribal MLA who was abducted in the wee hours of March 24, was released by Maoists after Hikaka reportedly submitted a written undertaking at the Praja Court that he would resign as MLA and sever ties with the ruling BJD within 15 days of his freedom.

Hikaka along with his wife Kausalya and two sons met the chief minister at Naveen Niwas here last evening. Though he spent about 90 minutes with CM, sources said, Patnaik had not discussed possible resignation with him. "Why should anyone who is elected democratically ever resign under pressure? I do not believe in that at all," Patnaik had told reporters on Monday replying to a question if Hikaka should resign as decided by Maoists` Praja court.

Several MLAs and ST and SC Development minister L B Himirika met Hikaka here and advised him not to resign under pressure. Meanwhile, police made elaborate security arrangement at Hikaka`s house with gun totting security personnel guarding him round the clock, a senior police officer said. The Maoists deadline for Hikaka to resign from the post of MLA, however, ends on May 10. "He has to take a firm decision whether to resign under pressure," said a senior MLA who met him at his official quarters.