A woman employee of the Orissa assembly has accused the speaker of sexual harassment and said she was being victimised for turning down his advances. Speaker Maheswar Mohanty denied the charges, adding that he was open to a House probe.
Gayatri Panda, an assistant marshal of the assembly, on Wednesday went public with her allegations against Mohanty, who is not new to controversy.
Panda alleged the speaker had suspended her twice in as many years. She has not been reinstated since last suspended in February. Panda said she has written to the House secretary, complaining of sexual harassment. She wrote that she had been repeatedly asked by the chief marshal to see the speaker during “free hours”. The official action against her was for not listening, she added.
Panda, however, has not registered an FIR, a reason why the police cannot initiate action. And the assembly does not have a panel to probe sexual harassment charges.
The speaker has withdrawn himself from conducting House proceedings till he comes clean. “A conspiracy has been hatched against me,” said Mohanty, who previously faced charges of involvement in a land scam and electoral irregularities.