BHUBANESWAR: Amid chaos in the assembly, speaker Surya Narayan Patro on Sunday said Deogarh BJP MLA Subash Chandra Panigrahi should accept the demand of the treasury bench and apologize for attempting suicide inside the assembly.
Briefing reporters at his residence here, Patro said there was no harm in seeking an apology if someone had committed a mistake.
“There is a set of written rules that define how MLAs should behave inside the House and what they should do and not do on the floor of the assembly. Any member doing anything beyond the set of rules is illegal. Panigrahi’s act is not in accordance with the rules of the assembly,” he said.
Asked whether the speaker has the power to take action against Panigrahi or not, Patro said the matter is yet to reach him
“Whatever action I take, will have to be taken by following the opinion of the assembly. Let us see what happens when the House reconvenes on Monday,” Patro added.
Patro said there was no precedent of any MLA trying to commit suicide inside the house. Protesting against alleged irregularities in paddy procurement, the Deogarh MLA had tried to commit suicide by consuming sanitizer in the second half of the session on Friday.
His attempt was thwarted by other legislators before he could take the extreme step.
A day later, the ruling party MLAs hit back and demanded an apology from Panigrahi for his act.
The BJD MLAs, including some ministers, protested in the well of the House on Saturday and warned that they would not allow the assembly to function unless Panigrahi apologised.
The first two days of the second phase of the ongoing budget session of the assembly were almost a washout. Important budget-related discussion of various departments could not be undertaken due to the uproar in the house.
Both Panigrahi and his party BJP have refused to apologise. Leader of opposition, BJP’s Pradipta Kumar Naik said Panigrahi would not seek an apology unless the government announced that it would purchase all the paddy of genuine farmers and regenerate lapsed tokens.