Opposition BJP to Boycott Election for Odisha Assembly Speaker on September 21


GG News Bureau

Bhubaneswar, 15th Sept. The opposition BJP decided on Friday to boycott the election for Odisha Assembly Speaker on September 21 as it clashed with the ‘Nuakhai’ festival, an agrarian event in the state’s western area.

The BJP’s decision came just one day after the Congress declared a boycott of the Assembly Speaker poll. Both opposition parties accused the state’s BJD government of having a “step-motherly” attitude toward the people of the state’s western region.

BJP MLA Nauri Nayak at a press conference here alleged that the BJD leaders have “no respect towards the sentiments of the western Odisha people”.

“It is not possible for the MLAs of western Odisha to reach the Odisha Assembly a day after the Nuakhai festival. This is because the celebrations continue till the next day for ‘Bhet-ghat’. Though we had demanded a change in the date of the election, the government paid no heed to it. This has hurt the sentiments of the people of western Odisha,” Nayak said.

While Nuakhai is celebrated on September 20, the next day is a ‘Bhet-ghat’ (gathering) where younger members of households seek the blessings of elders. ‘Bhet-ghat’ draws a large number of people from various states, said Nayak.

The BJP representative stated that the people of western Odisha have been asking for a two-day holiday for the Nuakhai festival, during which the first harvest of the season is consumed. Nuakhai is derived from the terms ‘Nua’ (New) and ‘Khai’ (eating).

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