BJP boycotts joint legislature party meeting

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Bhubaneswar, Nov 25 (UNI) The coalition partner BJP today boycotted the customary joint legislature party meeting with the BJD, indicating cracks in the eight-year-old alliance in Orissa.

BJP legislature party leader B B Harichandan attributed the boycott to the government's failure to nab the killers and conspirators of Swami Laxmananda Saraswati, who was assassinated on the night of August 23 along with four of his disciples inside the Jalaspeta Ashram in Kandhamal.

" We are not happy with the progress of investigation into Swamiji's murder and chose to boycott the joint legislature party meeting as a mark of protest, '' he asserted..

The government had so far arrested three people in connection with the killing, though 18 people had been identified for their involvement in the ghastly crime.

The BJP legislature party meeting met this morning and discussed the issue at length. BJP MLAs criticised Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik for the latter's ''inept'' handling of Swamiji's murder case.

The Chief Minister and BJD president, Mr Patnaik, said he was surprised over the decision of the BJP legislature party and said there was no prior intimation from the party to abstain the joint legislature party meeting.

UNI DP SJC RSA RN2225

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