Bhubaneswar: The Odisha Assembly Saturday accepted the recommendations of a House Committee constituted for considering an apology from journalist Abhijit Iyer Mitra, who had made derogatory remarks against the legislators in the state.
A House committee under the chairmanship of Leader of Opposition Narasingh Mishra was formed to probe the alleged breach of privilege by Iyer Mitra.
“A motion moved in the Assembly to excuse Abhijit for his derogatory remarks has been passed today. The committee had presented its report in the House yesterday,” informed Mishra.
“The committee observes that Shri Abhijit Iyer Mitra had made statements against the Members of the august House for which he has begged unconditional and unreserved apology before the committee,’’ said the panel report submitted in the House.
“The committee recommends that the august House may be magnanimous to consider and accept the apology begged by Abhijit Iyer Mitra for the statement made by him before the media against honourable members of the House and drop the matter,” the report said. The committee also recommended the House to direct the state government to provide materials to Abhijit to educate him about the art, culture, history and the people of Odisha.
Notably, Speaker Pradip Amat had constituted a House Committee September 20 to probe the alleged derogatory remarks against the MLAs by Abhijit. Iyer has been in jail since October 23 for his offensive remarks on the Sun Temple at Konark, Lord Jagannath and Odisha.
Talking to mediapersons, chairperson of the House Committee and leader of the Opposition, Narasingha Mishra said, “The House Committee in its report had recommended granting pardon to Abhijit as he has tendered an unconditional apology to the House Committee for his derogatory remarks. The report was laid before the House today and after a motion, the Assembly unanimously decided to grant pardon to him.”
Stating that the person, who had taken Abhijit on a tour round the state, should have briefed him about the culture and tradition of Odisha, he said. Notably, former MP Baijayant Panda had arranged his bvisit to various places in Odisha.
“I apologise that because of my stupidity, I said stupid things. I apologise for my stupid remarks from every one. I have hurt and offended the people of Odisha. I apologise. In a movement of confusion and stress I made the remarks. My apologies to the members of the House,” Iyer said in his statement to the House panel.
The House Committee was formed October 20 after the members cutting across party lines, vehemently protested and criticised the outrageous statement of Abhijit on Odisha, Konark Temple, Lord Jagannath and the legislators during the privilege motion moved by the Congress during the monsoon session of the Assembly.