Congress, BJP Call For Boycotting Odisha Assembly Speaker Polls
BHUBANESWAR: A day after the Congress announced to boycott the election process for the post of Odisha Legislative Assembly Speaker scheduled for September 21, the the BJP on Friday declared to follow suit saying the date clashed with Nuakhai, a grand cultural festival of Western Odisha.
“Even as people of Western Odisha celebrate Nuakhai on September 20 and 21 for two days, the Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik has scheduled the Speaker election for September 21. So, we have no other option left than boycotting the election,” said BJP MLA Nauri Nayak while addressing the media.
Nayak further stated, “Despite repeated protests to change the scheduled date, the government is adamant to hold the election for Assembly Speaker on September 21, which falls just a day after Nuakhai. So, our party has decided to boycott the election.”
The post of Odisha Assembly Speaker has been lying vacant since the resignation of Bikram Keshari Arukha on May 12. The government has decided to hold the election on September 21.
Earlier, the Odisha Congress has announced to boycott the scheduled election and urged the people of Western Odisha to stand up against the alleged ‘step-motherly” treatment by the state government.
Senior Congress leader, Narasingha Mishra said Nuakhai, the biggest festival of Western Odisha is celebrated for two days.
“It is unfortunate the Odisha government has called for an Assembly session for the Speaker election. Despite protests, they have not listened and it is a step-motherly attitude towards Western Odisha,” alleged Mishra.
Mishra further said, “I urge people of Western Odisha to stand up against such a wrong decision of the state government. Nuakhai is deeply rooted in the sentiments of the people. Nobody from the Congress will participate in the Speaker’s election process.”
In fact, Nuakhai is an agrarian festival mainly observed by the people of Western Odisha. It is celebrated to welcome the crop of the season.