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Speaker, ministers wear black bands in Delhi assembly

Protest after Lt. Governor Anil Baijal’s contention that Speaker cannot accept questions on reserved subjects

delhi Updated: Mar 28, 2018 19:02 IST
L-G Anil Baijal’s (left) letter to the state law department stated that he had consulted the legal affairs department of the Centre, which said the Speaker (Ram Niwas Goel in this case) cannot allow such reserved subject questions.
L-G Anil Baijal’s (left) letter to the state law department stated that he had consulted the legal affairs department of the Centre, which said the Speaker (Ram Niwas Goel in this case) cannot allow such reserved subject questions.(File Photo)

Delhi Assembly Speaker Ram Niwas Goel, AAP MLAs and ministers wore black bands in the House on Wednesday to protest against Lt. Governor Anil Baijal’s contention that the Speaker cannot accept questions on reserved subjects.

On Monday, Goel cited a letter from Baijal that said the Speaker cannot accept any question on reserved subjects, such as land, law and services, etc.

“Officers should realise that legislation on reserved subjects and seeking replies on matters of public interest are two different issues,” the Speaker had said, adding that officers were duty bound to provide replies to all questions admitted by the House.

The Lt. Governor’s letter to the state law department stated that he had consulted the legal affairs department of the Centre, which said the Speaker cannot allow such reserved subject questions.

On Wednesday, initially it was Aam Aadmi Party MLAs and ministers who came to the House wearing black bands.

During the Q&A session, responding to the first question, deputy chief minister Manish Sisodia said the answer to the question had not been provided by officials.

Goel also said that written answers to 17 out of 40 questions were not provided by officials.

As the House became agitated over the issue, the Speaker referred the question to the Question and Reference Committee of the assembly.

Later, he said that he would also tie a black band as a mark of protest against the Lt. Governor’s decision, and subsequently did so.

BJP MLA Manjinder Singh Sirsa said party MLAs were also of the opinion that all questions should be answered. He, however, said the Speaker should not wear a black band and added that he was breaking tradition by doing so.