The monsoon session of the Madhya Pradesh assembly ended on a stormy note with the opposition Congress stalling proceedings on the last day (Friday) demanding a debate on massive corruption in Ujjain Simhastha-2016.
With Congress members sticking on their demand for an adjournment motion or a debate on the issue, assembly speaker Dr Sitasaran Sharma had to adjourn the house twice for 10 minutes each.
All efforts to run the house in order turned futile as the Congress MLAs continued to shout slogans in the well of the house, finally prompting the speaker to adjourn the house sine die.
During the zero hour, former minister and Pawai MLA Mukesh Naik was allowed by the speaker to speak on Ujjain Simhastha issue.
Parliamentary affairs minister Narottam Mishra objected to it, saying a wrong precedent was being set by only allowing an opposition MLA to speak on the issue.
“We are not against any member being allowed to speak on the issue, but the speaker should also allow us to respond to statements made by the opposition member,” Mishra said.
The speaker, however, said Naik was not allowed permission for an adjournment or call attention motion, but was merely allowed to speak.
When Naik started speaking on the issue by alleging massive irregularities in the use of funds at the Simhastha, Mishra again intervened and sought permission to respond to Naik’s allegations.
The development triggered a war of words between the ruling and opposition benches.
Naik alleged that Mishra was objecting as his (Mishra’s) senior government official son-in-law was involved in corruption in Ujjain Simhastha funds worth thousands of crores.
Congress and BJP MLAs, including Shankarlal Tiwari, Yashpal Singh Sisodia and Kedarnarth Shukla (BJP) and Sunderlal Tiwari, Ram Niwas Rawat, Jeetu Patwari indulged in a verbal war amid presence of senior state Congress leaders, including MPCC chief Arun Yadav and spokesperson KK Mishra, in the speaker’s gallery.
The speaker subsequently allowed other members to go ahead with the already listed call attention motions.
This further enraged the Congress members, who trouped into the well of the house raising slogans.
Deputy leader of opposition Bala Bachchan alleged that by not allowing a debate on the issue, the speaker was indirectly allowing the government to do away with corruption in Simhastha funds.
The speaker denied the allegations saying he showed equal concern for both the ruling party and opposition members.
Mishra questioned why the Congress members had not demanded a debate or brought an adjournment motion on the issue in the last nine days.
Mishra also questioned Congress’ seriousness over the issue and blamed Bachchan for getting a holiday declared on July 19 for Guru Purnima, when questions related to Simhastha were to be taken up that day.
Bachchan, however, said he had asked for starting of the monsoon session from July 20 due to a Guru Purnima holiday. “Around 15 of our MLAs have been requesting the speaker since July 18 to raise the Ujjain Simhastha issue through a debate or an adjournment motion,” said Bachchan.
Three bills passed sans discussion
Three important amendment bills -- MP Cooperative Society (Amendment), MP Local Bodies Law (second amendment) and Land Holders and Share Croppers bill - were passed by the assembly sans discussion. All pleas by the speaker to the opposition party members to go back to their seat and debate on the bills turned futile.
The speaker adjourned the house sine die at 2pm.