Explained: The Chief Minister Vs Assembly Speaker Tussle In Bihar
While the house functioned for only half an hour and was adjourned twice, both the Chief Minister and the Speaker did not attend the proceedings on Tuesday.
Sinha authorised senior BJP member Prem Kumar to run the proceedings.
On Tuesday (15 March), the issue of spat between Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar and state assembly Speaker Vijay Kumar Sinha, which transpired on Monday (14 March), was taken over by the opposition to create ruckus in the state assembly.
While the house functioned for only half an hour and was adjourned twice, both the Chief Minister and the Speaker did not attend the proceedings on Tuesday. Sinha authorised senior Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) member Prem Kumar to run the proceedings, Times of India.
The opposition alleged that Kumar had insulted the Sinha as the two indulged in a heated argument during a discussion over nine murders in Lakhisarai district of Bihar. Interestingly, leader of the opposition, Tejaswi Yadav was also absent.
From among the opposition, the Rashtriya Janata Dal (RJD) members wore black badges and called the spat between Kumar and Sinha as the 'black day' for democracy. They demanded that they (Kumar and Sinha) give their 'explanations' on the unseemly developments that occurred on Monday, reports India Today.
Kumar And Sinha Mend Fences
To avoid any further rift over this issue, the ruling alliance partners, the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the Janata Dal United (JDU), reportedly arranged a meeting on Tuesday evening to address the issue. Many senior ministers from both the parties were present in the meeting.
It is being said that the meeting has been successful as the two leaders have settled their differences and mutually agreed to participate in the proceedings of the house as usual from Wednesday (16 March). However, despite the Speaker’s presence on Wednesday, the proceedings =were amid the opposition’s ruckus.
What Transpired Between Kumar And Sinha
The controversy broke out during the Question Hour on Monday when the Speaker asked the minister in-charge of the Home Department, Bijendra Prasad Yadav, to inform the house about the action taken in the Lakhisarai incident. It must be noted that Sinha is a BJP MLA, and also represents the Lakhisarai constituency.
In fact, it was BJP MLA Sanjay Saraogi, who had raised the issue of the murder of nine people in Lakhisarai in the last two months. Saraogi was not satisfied with the minister's reply and attacked the government by saying that the police were not catching the culprits.
Chief Minister Kumar, who was watching the proceedings of the question-and-answer round on the Lakhisarai issue in his own chamber, immediately entered into the house and expressed his displeasure that a matter which is being looked into by a privilege committee was being raised repeatedly in the assembly. He argued that as soon as the said committee files its report, further action will be taken. Therefore, it is not justified to raise this matter repeatedly.
“Is this the way to run the house? Why should matters under investigation be presented to the house? Does the house have the jurisdiction to ask for the police’s investigation report? The investigation reports fall in the court’s jurisdiction. Read the Constitution,” said an infuriated Kumar.
While the Speaker attempted to stop the Chief Minister, he continued to speak over the Speaker and kept expressing his anger.
“But please understand my predicament. Initially, I had tried not to indulge in any discussion in the matter after it was referred to the privilege committee. But members from the treasury benches and the opposition have created ruckus again and again. After all, I am supposed to be the custodian of the house," said the Speaker, FirstPost.
In response to the Speaker’s statement, the Chief Minister said, “I will inquire today itself into the progress in the investigation. The government will look into whatever recommendations the committee has made. But this matter must not be discussed on the floor of the House again and again.”
Lakhisarai Incident And The Speaker’s Involvement In The Case
During the Saraswati Puja celebration in early February, bands were organised at many places in Lakhisarai. In one such band, as , several young men danced in groups brandishing firearms on stage.
In this case, the police had lodged an FIR against 10 people for violating Covid-19 protocols and other related norms. Locals alleged that in this case, the police detained two such people who were only enjoying the dance and possessed no weapon.
As per the locals, both of them were forced to confess to the crime which they did not commit, while those brandishing firearms were not arrested.
The said report further suggested that local people approached Sinha to complain about the whole issue, following which Sinha reprimanded the police officials and told them to take cognisance of the grievances of the locals.
Sinha, along with other BJP MLAs, has expressed displeasure over the police investigation in the Lakhisarai case. He stated that the people of his assembly constituency are questioning him as to why the station in-charge and the DSP are not taking any action in the case.
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