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Odisha CM Patnaik rules out Hikaka's resignation under Maoists pressure

Bhubaneswar , Mon, 30 Apr 2012 ANI

Bhubaneswar, Apr 30 (ANI): Odisha Chief Minister Naveen Patnaik on Monday cleared reports over Biju Janata Dal (BJD) MLA Jhina Hikaka's resignation, saying there was no reason for a person elected democratically to step down from his post.

"Why should anyone who has been elected democratically ever resign under pressure? I do not believe in that at all," said Patnaik.

He also said there are no thoughts about a ministry reshuffle.

Patnaik further informed that Hikaka has been with his family after his release.

"I am very glad that for the last four days, the young MLA Jhina Hikaka has been with his family and friends at his home in Lakshmipur," he said.

The 37-year-old tribal MLA, who was released unharmed by Maoists on April 26 at a village in Koraput, is expected to meet Patnaik later today.

Hikaka was released 33 days after he was abducted from the same district by the rebels.

Hikaka was reportedly escorted by a group of tribals to Balipeta village in Maoist-affected Narayanpatna area, where he was believed to have been produced in a Maoist 'praja' court, which agreed to set him free.

He was handed over by the tribals to his wife, Kaushalya Majhi, and a lawyer who fights cases for the ultras and their frontal organisations, Nihar Ranjan Patnaik.

The decision to free Hikaka was taken by a people's court after he gave a written undertaking that he will resign from the state assembly and also try to fulfill the Maoists' demands.

Hikaka was kidnapped near Toyaput after a large group of armed men stopped him as he was being driven through a hilly area some 500 kilometres away from Bhubaneswar on March 24. (ANI)

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