Assembly adjourned over allegations against Speaker

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Bhubaneswar,Mar 26(UNI) The Orissa Assembly was today adjourned till 1300 hours as the Speaker decided not to preside over the House in view of allegations brought against him by a woman employee of the Assembly.

As the House assembled for the day to take up the Question Hour, Mr Maheswar Mohanty made a statement saying that a woman employee of the Assembly had brought serious allegations against him.

Mr.Mohanty said he had nothing to do if such allegations were levelled against him after he initiated disciplinary action against the employee for her indisciplined action.

Dubbing the allegation as 'false and baseless',Mr.Mohanty said such charges against the dignified chair of the House had been levelled for the first time in the history of Assembly.

The Speaker said there had been a 'deep conspiracy' against him and several influential and important persons were involved in the incident which should be inquired into so that the truth comes to light.

Mr.Mohanty then suggested that a House Committee be constituted to probe the matter.The Speaker said he was prepared to depose before the House Committee adding that he felt it was not justified to sit and preside over the House till the truth comes out.

The woman referred to by the Speaker was suspended Assembly Lady Marshal Gayatree Panda, who told a private TV channel here yesterday that she had been sexually harassed by the Speaker on many occasions.

Ms.Panda said she had lodged a written complaint to the Assembly Secretary in this regard a month back and decided to talk to the media as no action was taken.

The Lady Marshal was suspended last year by the Speaker but was reinstated after furnishing a personal clarification on the showcause notice issued to her. She was again suspended recently on the ground of indiscipline and dereliction of duty.


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