Ruling BJD apologises for MLAs causing ruckus during national anthem

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Bhubaneswar, Sep 21: After being slammed from different quarters, the ruling BJD today tendered an apology for some of its MLAs creating ruckus in the Assembly during the playing of the National Anthem marking the begining of the monsoon session.

"It was not right. Because the Mahanadi and Polavaram issues are adversely affecting the interest of the state, somebody became sentimental and started sloganeering. We had no intention to disrespect the National Anthem. We appologise for what has happened," BJD spokesperson Sameer Das told reporters here.

Odisha

Dash was referring to the Assembly incident where BJD MLAs led by Byamakesh Ray raised slogan against the Centre when the National Anthem was being played in the House. Ray was supported by some other members even though senior members prevented them from raising slogans while the anthem was on.

"The BJD MLAs have shown disrespect to the National Anthem at the direction of their party President and Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who was present in the House during the incident. He has breached constitutional guidelines. I think ruling party legislators, Chief Minister and Speaker had earlier hatched a plan unitedly to foil the business today," Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra of Congress alleged.

Mishar also expressed surprise as to how the Speaker allowed them to create pandemonium during recital of the National Anthem. The Speaker should have at least issued warnings to the erring members, Mishra said.

BJP member Pradip Purohit also condemned the conduct of ruling BJD MLAs in the House during recital of the National Anthem. BJD spokesman Amar Prasad Satpathy and senior member Surya Narayan Patro said the young law-makers raised slogan during the National Anthem much before it was being played.

"They were giving slogans much before the playing of the National Anthem. They did not know when the anthem started," said Satpathy.

"Meanwhile, when the House reassembled after 3 PM, the ruling BJD members were again on their feet and raised Mahanadi and Polavarm issues forcing Speaker Niranjan Pujari to adjourn the House for the day for what had happened," said BJD spokesperson Sameer Das.

PTI

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