A cobra was spotted near the desk of Orissa Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik inside the state assembly on Thursday morning triggering panic and delaying the commencement of proceedings in the House.
Personnel, who had entered the House for cleaning operations, spotted the snake and raised an alarm. As panic spread, more personnel rushed into the House, while snake catchers were summoned, official sources said.
However, the cobra disappeared even as a search was mounted to track the reptile down. Patnaik and Leader of the Opposition kept on sitting on their chairs but other members stood up.
Meanwhile, Speaker Pradip Kumar Amat adjourned the house for an hour which was scheduled to begin at 10.30 am. The building has been sealed and forest department officials have been pressed into service to locate the snake.
After spotting the snake, one of the personnel rushed to call up the snake helpline while another stood guard inside, the sources said. When Shubhendu Mallick of the snake helpline reached the assembly hall, the cobra had slithered under the thick carpets, they said, adding search was on to catch the reptile by removing carpets.
In a similar incident, a cobra was caught in the state secretariat building near the assembly complex barely two weeks ago.