Bhubaneswar: In a departure from practice, Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik was on Friday found sitting alone behind the treasury bench instead of occupying a seat in the front row meant for the leader of the house.
"The assembly made special sitting arrangement for the chief minister in view of his leg injury. The assembly secretariat had earlier received a letter from the chief
minister`s office requesting for making special arrangement for Patnaik," Speaker Pradip Kumar Amat said.
Accompanied by state Parliamentary Affairs Minister Raghunath Mohanty and BJD chief whip Rabi Narayan Pani, the chief minister entered the house holding a stick. He was seated behind the last row where BJD members including the newly elected Umarkote MLA Subhas Gond sat.
"What can I do, I am unable to climb the stairs. The doctors have advised me rest," Patnaik told reporters outside the house.
Patnaik is incidentally the first chief minister and leader of the house in the history of Orissa assembly who occupied a separate seat at the back of the treasury bench.
The chief minister, who sustained an injury on his right leg due to a fall at his residence on November 17, had also presided over the BJDLP meeting at a tent inside the assembly premises last evening.
"As Patnaik was unable to climb stairs, a temporary tent was erected for meeting," Mohanty said.