Row erupts in Goa Assembly after Opposition MLA calls Speaker ‘employee of CM’
Opposition MLAs were due to meet the Speaker on Tuesday, seeking a Private Members' Day during the January session of the Assembly. However, Tawadkar refused to meet after Sardesai's remark.
A row erupted in the Goa Assembly on Tuesday, a day after Goa Forward Party (GFP) MLA Vijai Sardesai called Speaker Ramesh Tawadkar an 'employee of the CM'. Taking offense at his remarks, Tawadkar has now demanded an apology from the MLA.
Opposition MLAs from the Congress, the GFP, the Aam Aadmi Party, and the Revolutionary Goans were due to meet the Speaker on Tuesday, seeking a Private Members' Day during the January session of the Assembly. However, Tawadkar refused to meet after Sardesai's remark and demanded the GFP MLA apologise for his 'insult' to the Speaker’s position.
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"The 'Private Members' Day' is enshrined in the Constitution and not having it in this session is because Chief Minister Pramod Sawant is worried his government will be exposed in the House by the Opposition," Sardesai had alleged while speaking to the media. "The speaker is acting like an employee of the chief minister. The speaker is not (part of the) government. He is a neutral person and he should consider the demands of the Opposition," he added.
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“The length of the Assembly session is decided by the government, while business in the session is decided by the Business Advisory Committee. I have no role to play in it,” Tawadkar said, alleging the Opposition was unnecessarily dragging the post of Speaker in the controversy. He also added that they should have met him before going to the media and making such statements. “I would have tried to understand their demand and present it before the state government,” the Speaker said while speaking to the reporters on Tuesday.
On the demand, the Opposition MLAs said, “Friday is always 'Private Members' Day' during an Assembly session, which allows them to move bills and resolutions”. After Tawadkar’s refusal to meet the Opposition MLAs, they have scheduled a meeting with Governor P S Sreedharan Pillai to present their demands, PTI reported.