Pramila Mallik or Sarala Devi? Debate erupts over ‘First Woman Speaker of Odisha Assembly’

Bhubaneswar: As Binjharpur MLA Pramila Mallik on Friday presided as the Speaker of the Odisha Legislative Assembly, debate emerged on social media as to who is the first woman Speaker of the House.

While it was announced that Mallik became the first woman Speaker of the Assembly, many differed on social media platforms mentioning that Sarala Devi was the first woman to preside as the Speaker of the House in 1939.

As per information, Sarala Devi had chaired the Assembly of the Orissa province which was created by the British Raj in 1936. The Indian independence activist was also the first woman to be elected to the Odisha Legislative Assembly on 1st April 1936.

Congress speaker Rajani Mohanty said, “Odisha became a separate state in 1936 while Sarala Devi became the first woman Speaker of its Assembly. If considered from that year, Mallik is the second woman Speaker of Odisha Assembly.”

“The claims of the State Government regarding development of women is false. It is being done for political gain. Apart from the members of the SHGs, the government hasn’t planned regarding development of other women,” he said.

Mohanty questioned as to why the government hasn’t presented facts over the income and savings of the 70 lakh SHG members.

Several X users also took to the microblogging site to opine over the matter.

Below are some of the posts.

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