Mungantiwar draws flak for violating House protocol

Makes public ‘uncut’ version of proceedings during debate on renaming Pune university

Written by PRASAD JOSHI | Pune | Updated: April 9, 2014 11:09 am

Former state BJP president Sudhir Mungantiwar has invited flak for allegedly violating the protocol of the House by making public “uncensored” version of a recent discussion in the state legislature. The BJP leader was participating in a debate on the demand for renaming University of Pune (UoP) after late social reformer Savitribai Phule in the House.

According to experts,a draft of the House proceedings are supposed to be forwarded to the MLAs/MLCs involved in that particular debate. Only the final version,prepared after making the required omissions and corrections,can be made public.

An action committee demanding the university renamed confirmed that the BJP leader handed over photocopies of the “uncut” proceedings to them.

Mungantiwar had raised the demand for giving Savitribai Phule’s name to University of Pune in the state legislature on July 23. We have been seeking his support to ensure our demand is accepted. He gave us the transcript of House proceedings to share with us what discussion took place,” committee leader Gautam Bengale said.

Mungantiwar,who represents Ballarpur Assembly constituency in Chandrapur district,has come under sharp criticism from senior political leaders for his “uncalled for” act.

Veteran Congress leader Chandrakant Chhajed,who was elected to the Assembly for two terms,said: “Public representatives often exchange heated arguments during any debate that take place in the House. While all proceedings get recorded,the official version is compiled only after omitting expressions or words found unparliamentary. House proceedings have to be finalised after forwarding a draft of it to MLAs/MLCs involved in that particular debate.”

MLC Hemant Takle of NCP said if the “uncut” House proceedings came in public domain,they could pose serious issues. “Unedited proceedings have huge scope for misinterpretation. They can cause confusion as well as miscommunication,leading to critical public problems,” he said.

Congress MLC Mohan Joshi said it was incorrect on part of Mungantiwar to release House proceedings before necessary changes.

BJP’s Leader of Opposition in the Maharashtra Assembly Eknath Khadse and Minister for Higher and Technical Education Rajesh Tope were also involved in the debate on renaming of UoP.

Mungantiwar said he had no option but to hand over the ‘uncut’ proceedings to the action committee due to time constraint. “It would have taken one or two weeks to get official version of the final proceedings. Since the action committee members were demanding it earlier,my personal assistant handed over the uncut proceedings,” he said.

In his defence,Mungantiwar also said the ‘uncut’ House proceedings could even be accessed under the RTI Act,though his argument was rejected by party leaders who said only final proceedings could be sought under the Act.

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