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BJP Boycotts Madhya Pradesh Assembly, Protem Speaker Accused of Making 'Mockery of Constitutional Provisions'

File photo of former Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan. (File Photo: PTI)

File photo of former Madhya Pradesh CM Shivraj Singh Chouhan. (File Photo: PTI)

Congress appointed Protem Speaker Deepak Saxena is accused of ignoring the BJP's nomination for Speaker and leaving the house vote divided

Bhopal: An keenly anticipated contest eventually turned out to be a damp squib as the Bharatiya Janata Party staged a walkout after the protem speaker refused to let the opposition propose its nominee for the speaker’s post in MP assembly on Tuesday.

The Protem speaker Deepak Saxena read out the proposal in favour of Congress' nominee but did not read out the proposal mentioning the BJP’s candidate Vijay Shah. Protests erupted from BJP benches with its MLAs rushing to the Well of the House, forcing the protem speaker to adjourn the proceedings twice for a period of ten minutes each.

After the House reassembled, BJP members announced a boycott of proceedings and staged a walkout.

An angered opposition staged protest through absenteeism. The Opposition did not attend Governor Anandiben Patel’s speech late in the afternoon, saying it would only take part in the discussion over the governor’s address on Wednesday.

The BJP MLAs, led by ex-CM Shivraj Singh Chauhan, gathered outside the House raising slogans against the Congress government. “By doing this, the Congress has broken the parliamentary traditions, resorted to undemocratic move and deprived our tribal leader contest the election,” said Chouhan to the media.

Former Parliamentary Affairs Minister Narottam Mishra alleged that the protem speaker read out four proposals naming Congress candidates but did not mention the BJP's proposal despite it being in the daily work plan.

Accusing the Congress of making a mockery of constitutional provisions, Chouhan called it a ‘Black Day’ in the history of Madhya Pradesh assembly.

Congress also shot back accusing BJP of breaking the parliamentary tradition of not forging consensus on speaker’s post. “The BJP has made it clear it would continue to oppose the Congress government contrary to claims that it would prove a constructive opposition,” said senior MLA and the minister Sajjan Singh Verma.

In the absence of BJP MLAs, Congress members proposed the name of Prajapati, the MLA from Gotegaon, for Speaker. Following this, the protem speaker ordered a voice vote. The Congress went for the division of votes and Prajapti secured 120 votes of MLAs of Congress and its allies.

Later the BJP MLAs walked towards Raj Bhawan and sought Governor Anandiben Patel's intervention in the appointment of speaker. Mishra questions Congress' intention to implement its plans by appointing Deepak Saxena as Protem Speaker in the presence of other senior MLA's. The party has also sought CM Kamal Nath’s resignation.

Verma alleges that the “walkout was a planned move from the BJP which knew it lacked the required strength in the House”. He responds to the BJP allegations by terming it as the murder of ‘constitutional traditions.'It was the first time in 52 years that speaker can’t be elected unanimously. He claimed the speaker was elected in accordance with the rules and regulations.

Governer Anandiben Patel's speech, in the absence of BJP MLA's, stressed on the state government’s commitment on issues like roads, water and power, farm loan waiver, weekly off to police staff, adequate prices to crops, urban and rural development and so on.

Later the supplementary budget was also presented in the House, debate on which would take place on Wednesday.

first published:January 08, 2019, 18:54 IST