Constitutional crisis grips Orissa Assembly,House fails to assemble

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Bhubaneswar, Mar 27 (UNI) 'Constitutional crisis' gripped the Orissa Assembly as the House could not assemble today following a dharna by Opposition Congress protesting 'sexual harassment' by Speaker Maheswar Mohanty, a charge brought by Assembly Assistant Marshal Gayatri Panda.

Ms Panda today filed an FIR with the Mahila police station against the Speaker for allegedly harassing her sexually.

State Women Congress President Asima Mahananda along with All India Democratic Women Association (AIDWA) Secretary Pushpa Das submitted the FIR on behalf of the lady Marshal to Deputy Commissioner of Police B N Guru.

In the Assembly Deputy Speaker Prahallada Dora could not conduct any business as he was prevented by agitating Congress members from reaching his chair. The Opposition was still continuing with their protests.

Almost all the Congress MLAs occupied the podium and shouted slogans demanding the Speaker's resignation.

Mr Dora had to stand at the podium along with his Marshal till 1135 hours and finally returned to his official chamber amid protests by the Opposition members.

As soon as the Deputy Speaker left, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik and his cabinet colleagues followed him.

Congress deputy leader Narasingh Mishra said the House could not run unless Governor N C Bhandare resummons it.

He said the House, which was adjourned for the whole day yesterday without transacting any business following a ruckus by the Opposition, was supposed to commence at 1030 today as per law but did not.

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