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Uproar in House over sex row

Orissa Assembly plunges into turmoil again over the sexual abuse charge against Speaker Maheswar Mohanty with the Opposition demanding his resignation.

india Updated: Mar 29, 2008 14:43 IST

Orissa Assembly plunged into turmoil again on Saturday over the sexual abuse charge against Speaker Maheswar Mohanty with the Opposition demanding his resignation.

Proceedings in the assembly began on a stormy note with Congress leader Narasingha Mishra saying that the house cannot transact any business till the Speaker steps down.

The Speaker has been at the center of a controversy following charges levelled by an assistant woman marshal of the Assembly, Gayatri Panda, that she had been subjected to sexual harassment. Mohanty has vehemently denied the allegations.

Raising slogans against the Speaker, the Opposition members also demanded the BJD-BJP government to press for Mohanty's ouster.

Amidst slogans like "Speaker down down" and "Chief minister down down", they flung reporters' chairs, even as Deputy Speaker Prahallad Dora made an appeal for restoration of order to allow the question hour to proceed.

As unruly scenes persisted and nothing was audible with the Opposition sticking to its demand, the deputy speaker adjourned the house till 5 pm.

Ruling combine members were present in strength, virtually forming a human wall, well ahead of the scheduled time of commencement of proceedings in the morning to avert any attempt by the Opposition to gherao the presiding officer's dais as on March 27.