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Opposition targets Naveen Patnaik

Prafulla Das

— Photo: AP

A church torched at Muniguda in Phulbani district of Orissa on Tuesday.

BHUBANESWAR: The Naveen Patnaik government had a difficult time for the second consecutive day in the Assembly on Tuesday with the Opposition squarely blaming it for its failure to enforce the rule of law in the State.

The Opposition which moved a no-confidence motion demanded that Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik, who also holds the Home portfolio, should step down owning moral responsibility for the failure of the police administration in protecting the life of Swami Lakshmanananda, who had received a threatening letter a day before his killing.

Adjournment

The proceedings had to be adjourned several times in the pre-lunch session with Congress legislators rushing to the well time and again raising slogans against the BJD-BJP alliance government.

The Congress members demanded that the House should first hold discussions on a motion moved by them on the prevailing law and order situation in the wake of the killing.

The motion was discussed in the Assembly in the afternoon when Congress leader Narasingha Mishra said the government should quit for its failure to maintain law and order when incidents of violence were being reported from different districts.

Making a reply to the motion, the Chief Minister said the police had been given a free hand to arrest the guilty.

“The secular credentials of my government are well-established and need no explaining. My government’s credentials regarding according full professional autonomy to the police and absence of any political interference in the functioning of the police also need no clarification,” Mr. Patnaik said.

He informed the House that three companies of the Rapid Action Force had arrived in the State and two had been deployed in Kandhamal district witnessing widespread communal violence. Six more companies of the CRPF were likely to arrive in the State soon, he added.

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