In a major embarrassment to the organisers of President Droupadi Murmu’s programme at the Maharaja Sriram Chandra Bhanja Deo University in Odisha’s Baripada, the auditorium plunged into darkness after a power failure even as the President continued her speech in darkness on Saturday.
The President, who was on a three-day visit to her home district Mayurbhanj, was delivering the 12th convocation address at the auditorium of the university when power supply suddenly snapped for nine minutes from 11.56 a.m. to 12.05 p.m.
The security of the President was also compromised as neither the guards nor the supporting staff were visible.
However, Murmu continued her speech using a dim light on the podium even as the audience kept wondering while sitting in the pitch dark auditorium.
Murmu also expressed her displeasure over the power outage by saying that the university is as much in the dark as its beauty.
Regretting the incident, University Vice-Chancellor Santosh Tripathy said, “We had repaired our generator, but somehow it did not work. We will inquire into the matter.”
The Vice-Chancellor later suspended an electrical staff of the institute and formed a three-member committee to investigate the matter.
Harish Kumar Panda from Tata Power said that they had checked the electricity connections before the programme and everything was functioning properly.
“There was a generator set there from our side as a backup. The incident happened due to problems in internal wire connections. The microphone and AC were functioning even when the auditorium plunged into darkness, ” he claimed.
Meanwhile, the state government has ordered a probe into the power failure during the President’s address.
“We will take action against those found guilty after a proper investigation, ” said Suresh Dalasi, Revenue Divisional Commissioner (RDC), Central division.