Assembly stalled over rising rapes, missing children; Congress to hit streets tomorrow

Bhubaneswar: For the second consecutive day on Tuesday, Odisha Assembly witnessed uproarious scenes with opposition parties-BJP and Congress trying to corner the State government over the rising incidents of missing children and minor rape cases.

Following the pandemonium, the Speaker SN Patro had to adjourn the House for as many as seven times today. Later, the House was adjourned till tomorrow.

Later in the day, Congress announced to launch a state-wide protest over atrocities against women and rising minor girl rape cases.

While addressing a presser in Bhubaneswar today, Congress legislature party leader, Narasingha Mishra informed that the protests will be launched at all district headquarters for three hours from 10 AM to 1 PM tomorrow.

The issue was raised as soon as the House assembled for the Question Hour at 10.30 am.

But even before Speaker Surjya Narayan Patro asked Panchayati Raj minister Pratap Jena to give a reply, the BJP members rushed to the well of the House and demanded the chief minister’s resignation.

The Congress members, who are making a similar demand, shouted slogans while standing near their seats. The House was adjourned till 3 pm, without conducting business.

“Apart from the chief minister’s resignation, we demand a discussion on rising incidents of missing children and rape cases, in the Assembly,” BJP chief whip Mohan Majhi told reporters outside the House.

Congress Legislature Party leader Narasingha Mishra said that the House was adjourned as the government is afraid of the opposition. “The chief minister has no moral right to continue in his post in the wake of the twin issues,” he said.

Senior BJD MLA and former minister Debi Prasad Mishra said the opposition should cooperate to ensure smooth functioning of the House. “The state has so many issues to be discussed. The opposition should come forward and cooperate,” Mishra said.

Leader of Opposition, Pradipta Kumar Naik, had alleged on Monday that more than 6,000 girls and boys have gone missing from the state within a span of four years while only 40 per cent of them have been traced.

An all-party meeting convened by the speaker on Monday also failed to yield any result as the opposition refused to budge from their demand for Patnaik’s resignation.

The BJP members had on Monday staged a sit-in in the well of the House while the Congress members sat on a dharna in the Assembly premises, after staging a walkout.

(With PTI inputs)