The Opposition Congress in Odisha Assembly today submitted to the Speaker a censure motion against Prime Minister Narendra Modi's remark of "acute poverty and starvation" in the state.
"I have received the notice for the motion. It is under examination," Speaker Niranjan Pujari said before adjourning the House for the day in view of the noisy protest in the well of the House by Congress members.
The Congress in its notice mentioned: "Let the House condemn the Prime Minister's sarcastic and insulting remark towards Odisha at an election meeting in Uttar Pradesh."
"We have not moved censure motion against the Prime Minister but against his sarcastic and insulting remarks," Leader of Opposition Narasingha Mishra of Congress told PTI.
Modi had told an election meeting in Uttar Pradesh's Gonda last month, "Odisha, where there is so much poverty, starvation, unemployment and where the BJP did not even have a foothold to place its flag, people have given it so much support that everyone is taken aback...Even the poor of Odisha have come with the BJP."
The state Assembly today witnessed at least half-a-dozen of adjournments due to the din created both by the BJP and the Congress members.
During the Question Hour, BJP members demanded an apology from two BJD lawmakers who made objectionable remarks against the Prime Minister, while the Congress MLAs sought a discussion on the censure motion in the assembly.
The Congress members also demanded apology from the Prime Minister for "hurting" the sentiments of Odia people.
With both the opposition parties engaged in ruckus in the House, normalcy eluded the state Assembly for the fourth consecutive day today.
As the business in the House remain paralysed, two ruling party members, Mahesh Sahoo and Samir Ranjan Dash, regretted their remarks against the Prime Minister.
"I am sorry if my friends in the BJP are hurt. But, I am not worried about my statement as it was to defend the pride of Odisha," Sahoo said, adding that nobody expected such "humiliating" words from the Prime Minister at an election rally in another state.
He demanded that the BJP members also express regret in the House for the alleged anti-Odisha statement of the Prime Minister.
Dash too regretted his statement against Modi but added that the Prime Minister's remarks on Odisha's poverty was an insult to the state's pride."The Prime Minister's remarks on Odisha's poverty are not acceptable in a federal system of governance," he said.
Just when it seemed that normalcy was gradually returning after the BJD MLAs' regret, the Congress members rushed to the Well and demanded an apology from the Prime Minister.
"We demand a censure motion be passed in the House as the Prime Minister's remark has hurt lakhs of people in the state. Nobody in the state approves such a statement from the Prime Minister," said Congress Chief Whip Taraprasad Bahinipati.
Announcing that the Congress will not allow the House to function, Bahinipati said the Prime Minister should tender an apology either in the media or at a public meeting or in Parliament.
Bahinipati also raised a question on Leader of the House Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik's "silence" on the matter.