Gujarat Assembly Speaker Ashok Bhatt attending a political meet held at Ahmedabad mayor Kanabhai Thakors residence recently has sparked off a controversy.
State Congress president Siddharth Patel alleged that Bhatt,holding a constitutional post,had brought down the dignity of his chair by attending a political meeting of the party to which he belonged before becoming the Speaker. He said that the Speaker attending a political programme was not a healthy trend for democratic politics of the state.
Even if the Chief Minister wanted to hold some urgent consultations with the Speaker,it is for the CM to go the office or residence of the Speaker and not vice-versa, he added.
Patel further said that the meeting Bhatt attended was called to chalk out a strategy to gain political mileage from the CBI probe in the Sohrabuddin Sheikh Fake Encounter case,in the forthcoming municipal elections in Ahmedabad.
But Bhatt said that he attended the meeting in the capacity of an MLA from Ahmedabad city. It was called to review the developmental works carried out by the Ahmedabad Municipal Corporation like the Bus Rapid Transit System (BRTS),Kankaria Lake and Sabarmati riverfront development and the like and all the legislators from the city had attended it.
I did not make any comment on the CBI probe in the meeting, Bhatt said,adding that he had ceased to be a primary member of the party three years ago after becoming Speaker and has not attended any political function.