August 13, 2021 10:25:09 pm
The Congress on Friday raised doubts on the neutrality of Himachal Assembly Speaker Vipin Singh Parmar and demanded his removal.
In an unprecedented move, Congress legislators gave a notice to move resolution in this regard on the last day of the session, but it was termed against the rules in by treasury benches.
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, who is also the Leader of the House, told the state assembly that the notice given by the Congress is not sustainable as per rules as it was not given by the required one-third strength of the House.
In this notice, Congress MLAs said that they had no faith in the office of present Speaker in upholding the dignity of the House, democratic values and in protecting constitutional rights and privileges of the members of legislative Assembly. It added that for conducting the business of the house as per the rules, the Speaker should be immediately removed from office.
As all members assembled in the House for the Question Hour this morning, all Congress legislators, including Leader of Opposition Mukesh Agnihotri went to the secretary and handed to him a two-page notice and walked out of the Assembly silently. After this, all Congress legislators staged a dharna outside the House in protest.
Signed by all 19 Congress MLAs, the notice alleged that the Speaker Vipin Singh Parmar had failed to uphold the dignity of the House and his office in conducting the business.
So, they gave a notice for resolution under Article 179[C] of the Constitution and Rule 274  of rules of procedures and conduct of business in the Assembly.
Congress lawmakers stated that the Speaker was expected to be neutral and not to take sides on political consideration. It has been repeatedly seen that the Speaker claims affiliation to a particular ideology while presiding over the House which is against the spirit of the constitution, they said.
The Congress accused the Speaker of being partial in dealing with notices of opposition members, while giving undue advantage to members of the ruling party.
In the absence of Opposition members later, the Speaker started the proceedings of the House and after most of the day’s business was conducted, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Bhardwaj said that the Congress MLAs act was unfortunate. He claimed that all 19 MLAs had not signed it.
“This notice has no sanctity of the laws as there must be one third majority to move such resolution. Congress has only 19 members in the House and out of them only 17 members signed this notice of resolution. If they all had signed this notice, even then this would be short of requisite majority to move such a resolution,” claimed Bhardwaj in the House.
Claiming that there should be 14 days prior notice for the consideration of this notice’s under the provisions of law, he urged that this notice must be rejected.
Bhardwaj then moved a resolution for rejecting the notice in the House. At this, the Speaker presented it before the House.
At this point, CPM lawmaker Rakesh Singha said that a notice from the side of the treasury benches will not end the matter.
“You are an elected speaker, find out some middle way. I have all respect for you chair. I don’t want to mention the things that led to the situation reaching this stage,” he said.
After this, Parliamentary Affairs Minister said that there was no need to bring any resolution to reject this notice as it was not sustainable in the eyes of law. He concluded that the notice given by Congress to remove the Speaker has no legal validity for next session.
(With PTI Inputs)
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