After an all-party meeting held to resolve the deadlock continuing for the last two days over the issue, Speaker Niranjan Pujari informed the house that the minister apologised to Panda.
“In the all-party meeting, the minister tendered his apology for the incident and called me ‘sister’. After that, I called off my dharna,” Panda told media persons.
After the apology, the assembly conducted normal business.
Earlier, the assembly witnessed pandemonium throughout the day following disturbances by members of the ruling Biju Janata Dal as well as the opposition, forcing the speaker to adjourn the house several times.
When the house assembled for the day, the opposition Congress and Bharatiya Janata Party members gathered near the speaker’s podium, raising the issue of the derogatory remark by the agriculture minister.
The BJD tried to counter the issue by questioning the delay in central assistance for cyclonic storm Phailin and Hudhud.
“The state government is trying to throttle the voice of opposition. It is murdering the very essence of democracy. It should not have happened,” Leader of Opposition Narasingh Mishra told reporters.
BJP legislature party leader Basant Panda said the assembly was stalled for the third day due to the ruling BJD.
He termed it a conspiracy of the BJD, which was “shedding crocodile tears” for the impasse.
The BJD, however, put the blame on the opposition.
“The ruling party never wants to stall the proceedings of the house. It is the opposition which is disturbing the business in the house,” said BJD chief whip Anant Das.