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Naveen injured in Assembly scuffle

By Prafulla Das

BHUBANESWAR, NOV. 2. The Orissa Chief Minister, Naveen Patnaik, was today injured during a scuffle in the Assembly over the Government's agreement with a private company for bauxite mining.

During question hour, the Congress members expressed dissatisfaction at the reply of the Steel and Mines Minister, Padmanav Behera, on the issue and rushed to the well. Soon the Opposition and the ruling Biju Janata Dal-Bharatiya Janata Party alliance members came to blows below the Speaker's podium.

Mr. Patnaik was injured when legislators from both sides moved towards him, toppling the desk in front of him which fell on his foot. Some legislators and a Minister rushed to help him. Although, there was no fracture, Mr. Patnaik has been advised to rest for a few days.

Slippers hurled

As the scuffle went on, the Speaker, Maheswar Mohanty, asked the legislators to occupy their seats. Some security personnel asked television camerapersons in the visitors' gallery to pack up, though question hour was not over. While some Opposition legislators protested this, Anup Sai of the Congress hurled his slippers towards the gallery.

Later when the proceedings resumed after an adjournment of 30 minutes, the Government Chief Whip, Kishore Mohanty, brought a motion seeking Mr. Sai's suspension. The Speaker suspended Mr. Sai for the remaining days of the session.

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