[Watch] Bahinipati Arrives In Odisha Assembly Dressed As Priest, Sprinkles Holy Water In House, On Speaker & MLAs; Know Why

Bhubaneswar: Amid high drama, Odisha Assembly Speaker Surya Narayan Patro adjourned the House till 4 pm on Saturday as Opposition MLAs prevented smooth proceedings over the Mamita Meher murder case and the Naveen Patnaik-led BJD government’s refusal to remove Minister of State for Home Dibya Shankar Mishra.

In a novel protest, Congress MLA Taraprasad Bahinipati arrived in the House dressed as a priest. To chants of ‘Om Shanti’ and beating of gongs by Opposition members, Bahinipati went around the House, sprinkling holy water on members with a leaf. He was carrying the holy water in a ‘kalasha’ (brass container) on ruling party members, other MLAs and the Speaker.

Bahinipati later told newspersons that he sprinkled “Ganga pani, tulasi pani and gaumutra’ to make the House “pure” as it has become “impure because of Mishra’s presence”.

As Opposition members continued their protest, the Speaker kept telling them to maintain order and return to their seats. Patro adjourned the House as Opposition MLAs refused to relent till their demands were met.

“I came dressed as a priest and sprinkled holy water in the House, on ministers, the Speaker and MLAs. We performed the ritual to ‘purify’ the House. The House is a temple for 4.5 crore Odias. Dibya Shankar Mishra’s presence has made the House ‘impure’,” Bahinipati told reporters outside the House.

“He said that MLAs belonging to the Muslim, Christian and Hindu communities took part in prayers to ensure justice for Mamita,” he said.

Bahinipati attacked Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, asking why doesn’t he come to the House even once. He urged the CM to dismiss Mishra and take action against him, alleging that the minister was involved in the murder case and his presence in the House was not acceptable.

“The beating of gongs will ensure good sense prevails on the Naveen government,” he said.

When a reporter said that the Opposition accused him of resorting to drama in the House, Bahinipati said, “I used to take part in drama as a child. ‘Role karu thili…’ (Performed roles…). But not anymore.”

He said that despite the Opposition bringing an adjournment motion in the House to discuss the law and order situation in the state, it had not been taken up yet.

The House has seen several adjournments since the Winter Session began on December 1 with the Opposition keeping up the heat on the Naveen government over the Mamita Meher case and Mishra’s alleged complicity in it.

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