Thursday, March 13, 2008

Row in Bihar Legislative Council over protocol violation

The Bihar Legislative Council witnessed noisy scenes on 3rd March as members cutting across party lines raised the issue of non-allocation of room in circuit house to council's acting chairman Arun Kumar during his recent visit to Ara.

Raising the issue, Dilip Choudhary (Congress) said the issue was related to violation of protocol. Choudhary was supported by party members Mahachandra Prasad Singh and Chandan Bagchi. Singh demanded stern action against the officer responsible for the "misconduct".

Joining the issue, Bhim Singh (RJD) said that a privilege motion should be brought against the erring official.

He was supported by senior party leaders Mundrika Singh Yadav and leader of Opposition Ghulam Gaus.Urging the members to maintain order in the House, the working chairman narrated the incident to the members and said that though he had no problems personally yet the matter should be looked into by the government.

Taking note of his observation, deputy CM Sushil Kumar Modi informed the House that government would conduct an inquiry into the incident. He also sought guidelines from the Chair in the matter.

The matter cropped up again in the post-lunch session of the Upper House when minister of revenue and land reforms Ramnath Thakur informed the House that Bhojpur district magistrate appeared before the acting Chairman during lunch break and tendered an apology for the incident. The minister, quoting the DM, said that incident took place due to some communication gap. Thakur, reading out from a written reply, accepted that it was a clear case of violation of warrant of protocol. The Opposition, however, expressed dissatisfaction with the government reply and pressed for initiating a privilege move against the erring official.

Supporting Bhim Singh's move in this regard, leader of Opposition Ghulam Gaus said the Opposition still sticks to its demand of privilege motion.

However, energy minister Bijendra Yadav termed the Opposition demand as unjustified and assured the House that in future the government would ensure strict adherence to the warrant of protocol.

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