Sad and hurt over the removal of state Informaton and Public Relation minister, Panda said Nayak sacrificed the ministerial berth by raising the issue of sexual harassment
against a "helpless" woman in the assembly premises.
"Debasis Nayak was dropped from the ministry because he came to my rescue", Panda told reporters at her native village at Kuhunda in Cuttack district yestreday. The 29-year-old Marshal alleged that Chief Marshal of the assembly had also made obscene gestures at her. "Nayak had apprised the then Speaker Maheswar Mohanty regarding obscene gestures made at me by assembly's Chief Marshal", Panda claimed adding that the incident was suppressed by authorities.
Panda, whose sexual harassment allegation against Speaker Maheswar Mohanty forced him to quit, said Nayak had helped her when she was in trouble, particularly fighting against sexual harassment. Meanwhile, Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik removed Nayak from the council of ministers barely one hour after police recorded Panda's statement at her native village in which she mentioned how Nayak "helped" her, sources said.
"During four-hour long questioning, Panda had stated how Nayak helped her in lodging complaint aganist the Speaker", a senior police officer said adding the CM's office was informed about the contents of Panda's statement.
Panda, who had earlier been suspended from service in 2007 on charge of unauthorised absence, had also made sexual harssment allegations against a Deputy Secretary last year.