Naveen doing politics over hostage crisis: Congress

Orissa map
Bhubaneswar, Mar 21: Opposition Congress today staged a walkout from the Odisha Assembly, accusing Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik of doing politics over the Italian hostage crisis.

Despite getting all support from Opposition parties, people at large and also the Centre, Patnaik had been blaming Home Minister P Chidambaram without any reason, Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh said in the Assembly.

"Is it not politics by the Chief Minister over the hostage crisis?" he said. "We have been supporting the government over the hostage crisis. Even Congress will not hesitate to pass a resolution appealing to Maoists to release the Italian hostages," he said.

Quoting Chidambaram, Singh said the Centre was "disappointed" over the remarks of the Chief Minister. "This is not the time to give such a political statement by the Chief Minister when the Prime Minister also expresses concern over the hostage crisis," he said.

"If the Chief Minister does not mean politics or he is misquoted by the media, he must clarify in the House," the Congress leader said. Patnaik had reportedly said the Centre had not offered any help to the state in dealing with the abduction of the two Italians by Maoists. "Unless the Chief Minister clarifies his reported statement, we cannot cooperate with the government," Singh said before staging a walkout.

"Let the chief minister make a statement, may be outside the House. He must make clear his stand," BJP legislature party leader KV Singhdeo said.

Congress chief whip Prasad Harichandan said it was unfortunate that the Chief Minister made such remarks.

Both Congress and BJP urged the Speaker to adjourn the House till the chief minister clarified his statement against the Centre over the hostage crisis. Speaker Pradip Amat, however, allowed the House to debate on the budgetary demand of rural development department.


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