The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Naveen flock assaults MLA

Bhubaneswar, Sept. 25: The Orissa Assembly today witnessed mayhem, as loyalists of chief minister Naveen Patnaik rained blows on an expelled Biju Janata Dal legislator, rendering him unconscious.

The MLA, Manas Ranjan Mallik, alleged from his hospital bed that the chief minister had ordered the “attack”. The chief minister watched unperturbed as energy minister Surya Patro and BJD chief whip Pradip Maharathy kicked Mallik, MLA from Dhamnagar, in the groin during question hour.

Mallik had rushed to the well of the House, opposing privatisation of Nalco along with several Congress legislators. He was brutally beaten up by Patro, Maharathy, Debasis Samantray and Raghav Sethi.

Mallik, his trousers splattered with blood, was rushed to Capital Hospital before being shifted to SCB Medical College and Hospital in Cuttack. He is stated to be out of danger.

Later, an all-party meeting convened to discuss the bizarre developments ended on an inconclusive note. Members who watched the video footage of the incident have condemned the attack, while the Congress has demanded that those involved in the incident be expelled from the BJD. It also demanded an apology from the chief minister.

Mallik joined several other Opposition leaders in criticising the Centre’s move to privatise Nalco. Yesterday, the House had to be adjourned as the Opposition demanded a special discussion on the issue.

Mallik had been expelled from the BJD after he decided to contest against the official BJP candidate and state president Manmohan Samal in the 2000 Assembly polls. Later, he returned to the party as an associate member. However, he fell out of the party leadership’s favour in May this year after standing as proposer for Rajya Sabha member Dilip Ray during the polls.

Naveen Patnaik described the incident as “unfortunate”, but promised no action against his guilty partymen.

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