Oppn face off in Odisha session over Gandhi and Godse

Oppn face off in Odisha session over Gandhi and Godse

Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Pattnaik greets the members on the first day of the Budget Session of Assembly. (PTI Photo)

For the second consecutive day on Tuesday, the Odisha Assembly witnessed a face-off between the BJP and the Congress over Mahatma Gandhi, his killer Nathuram Godse, and Congress leaders Mani Shankar Aiyar and Navjot Singh Sidhu. The Odisha house is currently having its budget session.

The war of words began on Monday when the leader of the Congress legislature party and former state minister Narasingha Mishra indirectly charged the BJP and its associate members of worshipping the ideology of Godse. He was speaking during zero hours, on the preparations for Mahatma Gandhi’s 150th birth anniversary in the state.

“There is an attempt to ensure that people forget Mahatma Gandhi. Nathuram Godse, the killer of the father of the nation, is being worshipped now and certain members of the political party ruling at the centre are influenced by his ideology,” Mishra said.

Deputy leader of the BJP legislature party, Bishnu Charan Sethi opposed this and said that Godse was a member of Hindu Mahasabha and neither the BJP nor its associate members had anything to do with the organisation. Trying to score a point against the Congress members, he tossed up the names of Congress leaders, Aiyar and Sidhu, claiming that both had spoken against the country in Pakistan.

As soon as Zero Hour began in the house, Congress leader Mishra raised the issue again and appealed the Speaker to expunge BJP leader Sethi’s statement on Aiyar and Sidhu as both were not members of the house. “It is not proper to speak against individuals who are not present in the house”, he said.

The BJP deputy leader maintained that there were several instances in the past when individuals who were not in the assembly were debated. The debate ended when Speaker Surya Narayan Patra told the house that he would look into the matter.