Snake in Orissa House

It all began around 7.30 am when the sweepers of the Assembly spotted a snake near the CM’s seat and immediately alerted the authorities. Forest officials and the police with a trained sniffer dog arrived to catch the snake. The assistance of the volunteers of ‘Snake Helpline’, a Bhubaneswar-based NGO, was also sought.

When the reptile could not be caught till 10.30 am — the scheduled time for beginning of the proceedings of the House for the day — Speaker Pradip Amat suspended the question hour and adjourned the House till 11.30 am. The House had to be adjourned repeatedly thereafter, as every effort to find the slithery creature failed. The Speaker finally adjourned the House for the day around 5 pm.

A ploy, says Congress

Opposition Congress members accuse the ruling Biju Janata Dal of trying to suspend the House to avoid a debate on the law and order situation in the state which was scheduled for Thursday. “No member has seen the snake. This could be a ploy by the Treasury bench to avoid the debate in the House,” said senior Congress legislator Santosh Singh Saluja.
However, Parliamentary Affairs minister Raghunath Mohanty said a sweeper had seen the cobra. “This is monsoon season and snakes do enter houses during this time. The business of the Assembly will begin once the snake is caught.”

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