BHUBANESWAR: As the BJP continued to create ruckus in the House for the fifth successive day, speaker Pramila Mallik on Thursday suspended two saffron party MLAs - Opposition chief whip Mohan Majhi and Mukesh Mahaling for the rest of the monsoon session for their unruly behaviour.
The members allegedly threw ‘dal’ (pulses) onto the speaker’s podium during their protest in the well of the House demanding the remarks made by BJD MLA Arun Sahu against the leader of the Opposition Jayanarayan Mishra be expunged from the proceedings.
The incident took place towards the end of the day’s sitting when the supplementary budget for the Home Department was being taken up. The BJP members, who were in the well, demanded the leader of the Opposition be allowed to speak. They showed ‘dal’ from a polythene bag in protest. Some of the BJP members also threw ‘dal’ towards the podium before walking out from the House.
After the supplementary budget for the Home Department was passed, government chief whip Prashant Kumar Muduli brought a motion for the suspension of the two members which was passed by a voice vote. The speaker then announced their suspension for unruly behaviour. The decision to suspend the members was announced in the absence of BJP and Congress members who had walked out from the House.
Speaking to media persons, the speaker said the decision to suspend the members was taken because the House was irked over their action. “Action was initiated as per rules and regulations and they were suspended”, she added.
Majhi, however, said he was suspended even as he did not throw dal at the speaker’s podium as alleged. “I neither gifted dal to the speaker nor threw it towards the podium,” he said adding she (the speaker) should have examined the House records and called him before taking the decision. Mahaling said dal is a symbol and they gifted it to the speaker to protest against her functioning. Stating the speaker should act impartially, he alleged she was not doing so.
On denial of the charge by Majhi, the speaker said, “I do not know what he said. They have been suspended till the end of the ongoing session.” The session is scheduled to end on October 4. Talking to media persons outside the House, the leader of the Opposition said, “Since the speaker loves dal, we thought of gifting her some. But rather than thanking us, she has suspended two members,” he said.
BJD member Debi Prasad Mishra described it as a black day in the history of the Odisha Assembly. The Assembly, though, is no new to such activity. It has earlier seen incidents like shoe throwing, coin dumping in the well and violence between members.