Odisha Assembly on Thursday witnessed loud protests over Congress spokesperson Ajay Kumar’s alleged remarks against NDA presidential candidate Droupadi Murmu and was adjourned till 4 PM.
The issue was raised in the Assembly as soon as the House assembled for the question hour at 10.30 AM. The opposition BJP members raised anti-Congress slogans and trooped into the well of the House demanding apology from the Congress and passing of a censure motion against it for the alleged “defamatory” remarks against Ms Murmu, a tribal woman leader from Odisha.
The Congress members too rushed to the well and strongly opposed the BJP members for stalling the House proceedings over an issue not connected with the state.
Speaker B K Arukha asked the BJP members to express their opinions during the zero hour and allow the question hour to take place but the agitating members refused to comply.
With members of both the opposition parties in the well and protesting vociferously, Mr Arukha first adjourned the House till 11.30 AM. When the House reassembled, a similar situation continued which led him to adjourn the proceeding till 4 PM.
The agitation erupted over the remarks of Ajoy Kumar, a former Lok Sabha MP from Jharkhand, who reportedly said on Wednesday that Ms Murmu, though a decent person herself, represents the ‘evil philosophy of India’ and she should not be made the symbol of adivasis.
Opposition chief whip Mohan Majhi of BJP said outside the House “Ajay Kumar’s remarks are unfortunate. This is not his personal opinion, but the views of Congress and its leader Rahul Gandhi. We demand an unconditional apology from Congress and passing of a censure motion against the party in Odisha Assembly.”
Congress whip Taraprasad Bahinipati blamed the BJP for creating disturbance in the Assembly for the sake of publicity.
“There is no point in disturbing the Assembly proceeding as it is run on the money of the people of Odisha. The BJP members are doing this only to get publicity,” he said.
Mr Bahinipati said that BJP members had failed to understand what Mr Kumar had said and alleged that its lawmakers were enacting a drama over the issue and are wasting the time of the House proceedings by stalling the question hour.
After the House was adjourned, the BJP MLAs holding banners staged a dharna in the Assembly premises and waved placards against the Congress. They also held a rally outside and condemned the Congress for being “anti-tribal, anti woman and anti-Odia.”
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)