Parliamentary Affairs Minister M Venkaiah Naidu Tuesday said there is a need to revisit the role of the Speaker while testing the majority of a government on the floor of the House and implementing the provisions of the anti-defection law.
The BJP minister’s remark came on a day when floor test was held in the Uttarakhand Assembly on the directive of the Supreme Court, which had lifted President’s rule in the hill state for few hours.
“In the backdrop of what has happened in Uttarakhand, we have to revisit the Speaker’s role vis-a-vis the issue of testing of majority and implementing anti-defection law… I want this debate to take place in the country,” Naidu told mediapersons after reports came in that Congress’s Harish Rawat may have won the floor test.
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Asked about Uttarakhand Assembly Speaker Govind Singh Kunjwal’s role during the March 18 voice-vote on passing the budget , followed by the disqualification of nine rebel Congress MLAs, Naidu said, “What alternative do you have? We have to revisit that (issue) and then take a call.”
The Union minister also defended the Centre’s decision to impose President’s rule in the state, saying there was a “breakdown of the Constitutional (machinery) in the state”.
Putting forth his view on defection, Naidu said that he was in favour of setting a time-limit for deciding on cases of defection. “A public representative should resign forthwith as per the spirit of the Constitution and re-contest. Failing this, he should be disqualified immediately,” he added.