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UP tainted trio?s fate in House hands

The Uttar Pradesh Assembly will on Friday decide the fate of the three MLAs, one a minister in the Mulayam Yadav cabinet, who were caught accepting a bribe on camera on Wednesday. The decision was taken at an all-party meeting presided over by Speaker Vidhan Sabha Mata Prasad Pandey. Chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, Leader of Opposition Lalji Tandon and leaders of all major political parties attended the meeting called following a motion moved by the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Pramod Tiwari to bar three MLAs from attending the House.

india Updated: Feb 17, 2006 01:23 IST

The Uttar Pradesh Assembly will on Friday decide the fate of the three MLAs, one a minister in the Mulayam Yadav cabinet, who were caught accepting a bribe on camera on Wednesday.

The decision was taken at an all-party meeting presided over by Speaker Vidhan Sabha Mata Prasad Pandey. Chief minister Mulayam Singh Yadav, Leader of Opposition Lalji Tandon and leaders of all major political parties attended the meeting called following a motion moved by the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Pramod Tiwari to bar three MLAs from attending the House.

None of the three MLAs, minister of state for backward classes welfare Mehboob Ali (SP), Somaru Ram (BJP) and Anil Maurya (BSP), attended the Assembly.

Later, Mulayam parried questions on whether he would drop Ali from the ministry.

"This is my constitutional prerogative. I have to take a decision on dropping or inducting any minister," he said.

Congress leader Pramod Tiwari said the House should follow the precedent of Lok Sabha and dismiss the MPs. Three MLAs caught on camera in the sting operation had no right to attend its proceedings, he said while demanding that a committee of the House should be constituted to probe the issue and terminate membership of three MLAs.

Leader of Opposition Lalji Tandon also said the chief minister would reply to all issues raised by the leaders. Bahujan Samaj Party leader Swamy Prasad Maurya said the Speaker would take an appropriate decision after hearing out members and the CM on the admissibility of the motion.

Earlier in the day, uproarious scenes were witnessed in the UP Assembly and the House had to be adjourned twice for over an hour when the Congress and the BJP members raised the issue of the sting operation. Congress Legislature Party leader Pramod Tiwari raised the issue through an adjournment notice and said the way Minister of State for Backward Classes Welfare had asked for a bribe of Rs 20 lakh for smuggling heroin to Delhi in his official car was unconstitutional, unethical and illegal.

BSP legislator Anil Maurya had been shown talking about killing of protected animals and admitting sale of party BSP tickets, while Somaru Ram of the BJP was shown accepting Rs 5000 for giving protection to an NGO.

It had tarnished the image of the legislators as well as that of the House, Pramod added.

Leader of the opposition Lalji Tandon urged the Speaker to at least prevent the tainted MLAs and minister from attending the House. None of the three tainted legislators were present in the House today. However, the Speaker suggested that an all-party meeting be convened to resolve the issue but at the same time asked members to wait till Chief Minister Mulayam Singh Yadav came to the House. Pramod Tiwari quoted the decision of the Lok Sabha Speaker who barred the tainted MPs from attending Parliament but the Speaker refused to do so suo moto.

The BJP members raised slogans like ‘Bofors Ke Dalalon Ko Phansi Do’ when Pramod Tiwari said that the BJP had not given any notice on the issue and as such had no right to speak.

The House was adjourned for 15 minute at this juncture which was later extended twice.

When the House reassembled, Pramod Tiwari once again demanded that the two MLAs and the state minister be banned from entering the House. Keshari Nath Tripathi said two news channels were continuously showing the sting operation lowering dignity of the House and demanded that the House should decide some norms for the channels and their reporters also. However, Pramod Tiwari opposed this and said that journalists enjoyed certain privileges and imposing any restriction on them would be unfortunate.

The Speaker later announced that an all-party meting would be held at 3 pm and by that time the chief minister, who was in Delhi, was also expected to reach the state capital.

Later, Lalji Tandon demanded action against the tainted minister under the Narcotics Act and regretted that the ‘Government’ (Chief Minister and Parliamentary Affairs Minister) was not present in the House even to discuss such a crucial issue.

First Published: Feb 17, 2006 01:23 IST