October 24, 2020

Council post tussle

Patna: Opposition lawmakers led by Tejashwi Prasad Yadav on Thursday marched into chief minister Nitish Kumar’s chamber in the legislative Assembly to demand that the position of deputy Speaker be filled up as soon as possible.

Nitish assured it will be done in the next session. Traditionally the post goes to the Opposition, but has been lying vacant since the 2015 Assembly elections, which the Grand Alliance of JDU, RJD and Congress had swept.

With Tejashwi were RJD leader and former finance minister Abdul Bari Siddiqui, legislators Bhola Yadav and Lalit Yadav, Congress MLAs Awadhesh Kumar Singh and Ashok Ram, CPI-ML legislators Mehboob Alam and Satyadev Ram. Nitish received the delegation and took it to the inner room of his office for talks.

“The deputy speaker’s post is a constitutional one and traditionally goes to the Opposition,” Siddiqui said. “At present the Grand Alliance is in the Opposition, so we demanded that it should be filled. We told the chief minister that it should be filled. The post should have ideally gone to the BJP when it was in the Opposition and the Grand Alliance was in power (2015 to 2017). However it did not happen. Now we (Grand Alliance) are in the Opposition for the past year so the post should be filled by our representative.”

Siddiqui said that Nitish listened to their demand patiently and pointed out that since the monsoon session was over, the demand could be fulfilled only in the next session.

“The chief minister gave assurance that he would talk to the Speaker of the legislative Assembly and bring a formal proposal to fill the post of deputy Speaker. Normally, such proposals are passed unanimously,” Siddiqui said.

Congress MLA Awadesh Kumar Singh pointed out that it was necessary to fill up the post because if the Speaker is absent for a long period, the deputy Speaker can take up things like no-confidence motion. He said the post should go to the RJD, as it was the largest party in the Assembly.

Courtesy: The Telegraph

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