Bhubaneswar, Nov 21: Odisha Agriculture Minister Pradeep Maharathy landed in a trouble when Radharani Panda, the lone Woman MLA of BJP accused him of using derogatory remarks against her when she was raising slogans against the government over the chit fund scam in the House on Thursday.
Panda sought apology from the minister for his remarks for which she felt humiliated and insulted. "Maharathy made objectionable remarks. The words were derogatory against any woman", Panda told the media adding "if the dignity of a woman MLA is not protected in the Assembly, what about the women across the state".
However, Maharthay remained adamant over the issue refuting the allegations. "I have not used any objectionable remarks against Panda. There is no question of tendering apology. She might have heard something wrong amidst the uproar in the House," he told.
The minister said that the Assembly authorities could check the recording of the House what he had told the woman legislator. He said that he had requested Panda not to raise voice against Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik as she was brought to politics by his father late Biju Patnaik.
He rather suggested her to be busy for her daughter's marriage instead of raising the slogans against the CM.
The BJP MLAs including Panda sat on a dharna in the well of the House seeking a ruling from the Speaker over the incident after the House began following the adjournment over chit fund issue.
Condemning the incident BJP Legislature Party leader Basant Kumar Panda wrote a letter to Speaker Niranjan Pujari requesting him to protect the dignity of the female members should be protected in the House. He said, "Odisha Assembly had never witnessed such king of behaviour from a minister towards a female member. We not only strongly condemn the incident but also request you as the custodian of the dignity of the House to reprimand the concerned minister".
He sought an assurance from the Speaker that such incident should not be repeated in future.
Even Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra of Congress condemned the incident saying "any disrespect towards a female member was a shame for all".
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