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UP lawmakers ‘unite’ in House over being slighted by officers

When BSP leader Sukhdev Rajbhar quoted chief minister Yogi Adityanath and said the CM had even asked officers to mend their ways, his observations evoked strong support also from the treasury benches

lucknow Updated: Aug 29, 2018 17:58 IST
Umesh Raghuvanshi
Umesh Raghuvanshi
Hindustan Times, Lucknow
Uttar Pradesh assembly,UP chief minister,Yogi Adityanath
Uttar Pradesh assembly’s Monsoon session began on August 23. ((HT File Photo))

There was a semblance of unity between the ruling and opposition members in the state assembly on Tuesday when BSP leader Sukhdev Rajbhar said “officers often refuse to take telephone calls of lawmakers and treat them like second grade citizens”.

As Rajbhar quoted chief minister Yogi Adityanath, saying the CM had even asked officers to mend their ways, his observations evoked strong support also from the treasury benches, with some BJP members raising their hands in support.

“We do not want any confrontation with them (officers) as they are part of the same system. Earlier, we used to get acknowledgement of our letters. Now, this does not happen,” said Rajbhar, while raising the issue through a question of propriety, and urging Speaker Hridaya Narain Dixit to take a firm decision on the issue.

Senior Samajwadi Party leader Mohammad Azam Khan, however, found this an apt opportunity to target the Yogi government. “This (support from treasury benches) is like a no-confidence motion and the government has no right to stay in power now,” said Khan.

Khan’s remarks made the ruling party members, who were supporting Rajbhar’s contention, silent. Rajbhar also said that many members facing such behaviour from officers had often enquired about provisions for breach of privilege.

Leader of opposition Ram Govind Chaudhary also rose in support and urged the Speaker not to reject Rajbhar’s question of propriety. “This house is the most powerful. It has been established. Don’t reject this. Although directives to accord protocol to legislators have been issued in the past too, we are making you realise your powers like ‘Hanuman’. Take a firm decision,” said Chaudhary.

Minister for parliamentary affairs Suresh Khanna said he strongly opposes Khan’s observations.

“This government has complete control over the bureaucracy…We will take action in this case too as pointed by the member (Rajbhar). We are not defending anybody here. After assuming office this government had issued a government order on October 18, 2017 about protocol to be accorded to legislators. Action will be taken even against the top officers if they neglect legislators in such a manner. Officers have been asked to offer water to lawmakers on their visit,” said Khanna.

Although the Speaker rejected the question of propriety, he acknowledged that the issue was very serious. He said government orders have been issued since 1967 about the protocol to be accorded to lawmakers. Union government too had issued some orders on the issue before 1967, said Dixit adding that a proposal to set up a committee, comprising members of all parties, to look into such issues was already under consideration and some concrete measures were afoot to check recurrence of such incidents.

First Published: Aug 29, 2018 17:58 IST