Thanks to a snake, many newly elected MLAs in the Orissa assembly had an opportunity to go sight-seeing in the city on Thursday.
The reptile brought the proceedings of the House to a grinding halt after slithering into the innermost area of the most heavily guarded building in the state.
Getting past the three-tier security system, the snake—believed to be a venomous cobra —was seen by two cleaners around 8 am near Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik’s desk. Patnaik and other legislators were not present in the House at the time.
After the assembly staff raised an alarm, Speaker Pradip Amat adjourned the House till noon initially and then till 3 pm. The adjournment got extended further after the snake could not be traced.
A massive search operation was launched by forest officials, policemen, snake charmers, sniffer dogs and experts from the Snake Helpline. All their efforts however came a cropper as the reptilian trespasser remained elusive. A member of the search party said, “Every inch of the assembly was scanned minutely. But we could not locate the snake.”
Suvendu Mallik of the Snake Helpline said after winding up the operation, “We have already searched for 5-6 hours. We have finally decided to remove all the carpets on the floor of the assembly. The snake perhaps came through some holes which are now being sealed.”