Legislators can’t ask about riots, sensitive issues in Assembly anymore: MP govt
An MLA speaking in the House must withdraw his words immediately and cannot argue when the assembly speaker terms as “unparliamentary” any word or parts of a sentence by the lawmaker, the amended rules say.bhopal Updated: Mar 21, 2018 23:40 IST
Madhya Pradesh legislators can’t ask in the assembly questions on communal riots, sensitive events, confidential issues, and any query that may encourage secessionism or threaten the country’s unity, according to changes in House rules, which the opposition alleged are an attempt to stifle democracy.
These restrictions came into effect on March 15 after the BJP government amended the “rules of procedure and conduct of business in state assembly”.
The new rules say the cabinet’s confidence motion will be given precedence over any no-confidence motion against the government on the floor of the House.
An MLA speaking in the House must withdraw his words immediately and cannot argue when the assembly speaker terms as “unparliamentary” any word or parts of a sentence by the lawmaker, the amended rules say.
If a member criticises another lawmaker, he or she should be present in the House to listen to the other person’s response. “If he remains absent, it’s violation of parliamentary etiquette,” says a government circular on the new rules.
Besides, an MLA would have to pay damages from his salary for any destruction to assembly property. That means, lawmakers uprooting microphones and throwing furniture — witnessed in several assemblies in the country — during protests in the House will have to pay for them.
According to AP Singh, the principal secretary in the assembly secretariat, rules and ethics committees suggested the changes. “These were tabled in the state assembly for a week to seek suggestions and objections from legislators, but there was none. Thus, the amended rules came into effect from March 15,” he said.
The Opposition alleged the state pushed the changes to gag its voice. Congress lawmaker Sachin Yadav, who is a member of assembly rules committee, said: “I was present at the meeting. There was a brief discussion, but no final draft was shown to me. We never knew that a report on changed rules was tabled in the assembly. We will protest against this.” The Congress submitted a notice for a no-trust resolution against speaker Sitasharan Sharma.