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Triple Talaq: BJP MLA’s “Offensive Statement” Stirs Protests In Odisha Assembly, Stalls House Repeatedly

01 August 2019

Debashish Maharana

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Bhubaneswar: While the ongoing Budget Session of Odisha Assembly yesterday witnessed raging debate over the political issue of support lent by ruling BJD to the Triple Talaq Bill in Rajya Sabha despite its equidistance from BJP and Congress, the allegedly derogatory statement given today by the BJP MLA-cum-Deputy Leader of Opposition created furor in the House.

Both the Congress and ruling BJD members vehemently objected to the allegedly disparaging statement made by BJP MLA-cum-Deputy Leader of Opposition Bishnu Charan Sethy during Zero Hour. The irate members resorted to ruckus demanding ruling from Speaker Surya Narayan Patro for expunging the statement from the record of the House.     

Following the ruckus, Speaker Surya Narayan Patro was unable to run the proceedings smoothly for which he had to adjourn the House till 3 pm. Soon after the House re-assembled, the same uproar continued for which the House was once again adjourned till 3.30 pm.

Speaker had earlier assured the House that he would examine the controversial statement made by the BJP MLA-cum-Deputy Leader of Opposition.

In his media reactions later, BJP MLA-cum-Deputy Leader of Opposition Bishnu Charan Sethy stated, “There isn’t Triple Talaq practice in Pakistan, Bangladesh and 39 countries in the world. It also finds no definite mention in their holy book (Quran). Why will it not be banned here in India?”

“During this discussion in the House today, I cited various reports, surveys, magazines, UNICEF report. All these reports have shown that the women estranged by their husbands are bound down to be engaged in a despicable profession like prostitution. When the matter is published in UNICEF report, magazines like India Today and Outlook, it is all right and okay. When it is being discussed on TV and radio, it is also right and okay. When I expressed it in Assembly, it’s unholy and objectionable,” argued the BJP MLA.

On the other hand, Congress Legislature Party Leader Narasingha Mishra reacted, “Why did the Deputy Leader of BJP deliver such indecent statement. He stated that the women a community are into prostitution. Should it be stated in the Assembly? Is it justified? Will it not ignite communalism? It may spark communal tension.”

“When we keep our statements in the House, we have to guard against use of wrong language and objectionable words. ‘Kha’, ‘Bhunj’, ‘Gil’ (eat) are the three words in Odia. But, we need to know the proper use of the terms and connotations. One should keep statement with utmost care. Whoever will protest against such a derogatory statement. The ruling party BJD also protested for that reason, we too,” he fumed.

Senior BJD MLA Sashi Bhusan Behera reacted, “The statement is controversial as it carried objectionable mention against the women of a certain community. It is unacceptable in the context of our democracy, Constitution and society. When the entire country as well as our State shows honour to the women, the statement was unacceptable and hence we obviously reacted today.” 

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Bishnu Sethy, MLA, BJP, Odisha

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Narasingha Mishra, Senior MLA, Congress

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Sashi Bhusan Behera, Senior BJD MLA