Debate over panchayat poll violence in Odisha assembly

The house witnessed noisy scenes when Opposition members protested Speaker Niranjan Pujari's decision to reject an adjournment motion notice on poll violence.

Published: 23rd February 2017 09:16 PM  |   Last Updated: 23rd February 2017 09:16 PM   |  A+A-

By Express News Service

BHUBANESWAR: Even as the official results of the ward member and sarpanch posts were announced today, there was heated debate in the assembly over violence during the panchayat polls.

The house witnessed noisy scenes when Opposition members protested Speaker Niranjan Pujari's decision to reject an adjournment motion notice on poll violence.

Opposition legislators shouted slogans standing on their seats as soon as the question hour started. They demanded that the discussion be held immediately after cancelling the question hour. Unable to run the house, the Speaker adjourned the proceedings till 11.45 AM.

When the house reassembled, Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra  said the Speaker should allow the debate as the violence of this nature was unheard of in Odisha. He alleged that the political activists of opposition parties were killed while police turned a mute spectator.

Mishra said both the BJD and BJP have alleged that money played a big role in panchayat polls this time which was the cause of violence. Referring to rumours that the third floor (Chief Minister's
office in secretariat) has dictated officials to ensure victory of BJD candidates, he demanded a probe into this.

Besides, he also criticised distribution of money which came from Chhattisgarh to be distributed among the voters. The ruling BJD was unaware of till the final phase of polls and money seized in a
couple of cases was insignificant.

Leader of the BJP legislature party KV Singhdeo also wanted a debate on the matter and expressed apprehension that further violence could take place after results of the panchayat elections were officially announced. Results of the Zilla Parishad, which were contested on party sysmbols, will be announced on February 25.]

Singhdeo said a debate in the House could help reduce the clash and violence. However, government chief whip Ananta Das said that it was up to the Speaker to take a decision on the matter. "I think that Speaker will allow such a discussion after election results are announced," Das said adding that the ruling BJD was in favour of holding a discussion on the poll violence.

Congress chief whip Taraprasad Bahinipati said a bad precedent had been created in this panchayat polls. "There should be no place of violence in the peaceful state like Odisha," Bahinipati said adding that the one youth was killed in Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's assembly segment Hinjili in the presence of police.

The ruling party members also alleged that their party activisits had been fallen prey to the poll violence. BJD MLA Amar Prasad Satpathy said BJD supported sarpanch candidate has been arrested on flimsy ground.

However, Pradip Purohit (BJP) alleged that BJD has entered into a secret understanding with the Congress to check the BJP's growth in Odisha. He said there is every possibility that the BJD would join hands with the Congress in the 2019 general elections as they have done so in the Panchayat elections this time in Odisha.

Ruling BJD member Samir Dash rejected Purohit's allegations and claimed he could provide evidence of BJP candidates getting support of Congress activists in his assembly constituency Nimapara in Puri
district. He also alleged that


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