The Bihar Assembly Friday witnessed chaos with ruling and opposition benches locking horns over BJP MLA Sanjay Saraogi’s demand for construction of ‘shamshan’ (crematorium) for Hindus on lines of ‘shamshans’ (graveyards) for minorities being spruced up. During post-lunch session proceedings, Saraogi demanded that the state government should spend at least Rs 2,500 crore for construction of ‘shamshans’ for Hindus in proportion to their population as it has spent Rs 700 crore for fencing and maintenance of ‘kabristan’ for minorities. However, the ruling benches shouted furiously at the BJP MLA from Darbhanga for setting out ‘communal agenda’ in Bihar following its thumping victory in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh.
As soon as Saraogi’s non-government resolution number 22 demanding construction of ‘shamshans’ for Hindus on lines of maintenance of ‘kabristan’ by the state government with public money was rejected by the House after the presiding officer Md. Iliyas Hussain put it for vote on insistence of ruling benches, the opposition members trooped into well and pushed reporters’ table before raising slogans against the state government for turning down the resolution in unilateral manner.
The chair sought to restore order but this time the members of the ruling coalition comprising the JD(U), RJD and Congress jumped on their feet demanding stern action against the BJP member without taking Saraogi’s name for misconduct.
Hussain repeatedly appealed to members of both sides but the treasury benches led by the Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shrawan Kumar continued to insist for strong action against the errand BJP MLA.
Intervening in the matter, the Leader of Opposition (LoP) Prem Kumar sought to link his party MLA’s conduct with similar actions of the ruling members during monsoon session and said that action must be taken against both parties for identical behaviour.
Adding more fuel to the fire, the Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Prasad Yadav condemned the opposition’s behaviour and asked that if it felt that ‘shamshans’ should be constructed then why did it not go ahead with construction when in power in Bihar.
“If you (BJP) are so serious about construction of ‘shamshans’, then why did not you construct it when you were in power in Bihar,” Tejaswi asked.
Charging the BJP with trying to set a political and communal agenda on ‘shamshan’ vs ‘kabristan’ in Bihar after riding to power in neighbouring Uttar Pradesh , the Deputy Chief Minister thundered that the Grand Alliance government will not allow the saffron party to succeed in its sinister designs.