GOVERNOR RAM Naik has written to the President, informing him that the new guidelines issued by the Rashtrapati Bhavan on how a Governor should be received while arriving at the joint session of a state legislature was not followed by the Uttar Pradesh Assembly on Friday.
In an all-party meeting held on Thursday, amid opposition by parties, the UP government had deferred the implementation of the new protocol. The parties, including Congress, BSP and RLD had termed the new protocol as a “feudal tradition practiced during the British regime”.
Following this, the Governor was informed that the new protocol would not be followed on Friday — the first day of 43-day Budget Session of the state Assembly. The minutes of the meeting was also sent to Naik.
“The Speaker had sent me the minutes of the all-party meeting, informing me about the decision that the new protocol would not be followed. I have forwarded the minutes of the meeting with my covering letter to the President, informing him about the developments and also seeking his guidance,” Naik told The Indian Express after his address to the joint session on Friday.
According to the new rules, the Governor, who would arrive in a procession amid blowing of trumpet, would be received by the chief minister and others at the entrance of the Assembly while on his way to address the joint session. After welcoming the Governor, the CM and others would follow him in a procession to the Assembly. The National Anthem would be played before the proceedings begin and after the Governor leaves.
On Friday, however, the old protocol was followed and Naik was received by the Speaker and Protem Chairman of the Legislative Council on his arrival at the Vidhan Sabha. The CM and the parliamentary affairs minister welcomed him at the gallery. However, the Raj Bhavan followed the new protocol and gave Naik a guard of honour before he left for the Assembly.
Though Naik maintained that observations made by Opposition parties at the all-party meeting were political and he would not respond to them, he said he had only recommended that there should be uniformity in the protocol adopted by different states for occasions like the oath taking of the Governor and his address to the joint session of the Assembly. “I had observed differences in protocol when I was given the charge of Rajasthan… thus, I had raised the issue during the Governors’ meet last year,” he added.
“These new guidelines were not issued by me but the office of the President of India on the basis of the recommendations of an expert committee, which had looked into all aspects as per the Constitution. Thus, I wrote to the President to inform him as well as seek his guidance,” said Naik.
“I do not understand how playing of the National Anthem by a band could be reflective of the British era,” he claimed.
Expressing his displeasure over the Opposition parties interrupting his address in the Assembly on Friday, Naik said: “In the Parliament, a President’s speech is never interrupted but here it is. I had requested all parties… but it is their choice.”