March 26, 2021 11:24:13 pm
IN AN unusual development, senior Congress MLA from Bhiloda constituency Anil Joshiyara presided over the proceedings of Gujarat Assembly for around two hours on Friday. Although Joshiyara is one of the five members on the Panel of Speakers of House to preside over the proceedings in the absence of the Speaker Rajendra Trivedi, the development surprised many.
A senior official of the Gujarat Assembly said there are five members on the Panel of the Speaker – BJP MLAs Neemaben Acharya, Purnesh Modi and Dushyant Patel and Congress MLAs Anil Joshiyara and Rajendrasinh Parmar.
“Whenever the Speaker wants to retire from the chair for some time, he/she can ask anybody from the Panel to preside over the proceedings. Today, he asked Joshiyara for the same. It is the Speaker’s prerogative,” the official said.
When Joshiyara came and sat on the Speaker’s Chair, many of the members present in the House thumped the desk to welcome him.
When asked, Chief Whip of ruling BJP Pankaj Desai said that two of their members on the Panel of Speaker, Modi and Patel, were not present owing to health reasons concerning their wife and son respectively. Whereas Acharya, Desai added, cannot seat for long time due to medical reasons.
Joshiyara said, “Since 1997, probably this was for the first time that a Congress MLA was asked to preside over the House proceedings. I myself was surprised when was asked to do the same by the Speaker.”
Leader of Opposition Paresh Dhanani said, “I was in my chamber and was surprised when I saw Joshiyara on the seat of the Speaker from the television set. I could not believe it and clicked a grab from the television. I became an MLA for the first time in 2002. Since then, I have never seen a Congress member on the Speaker’s chair.”
“The healthy practice of having Speaker from the ruling party and Deputy Speaker from the opposition party is not being practiced in Gujarat under BJP rule for years now. And therefore, I was surprised to see Joshiyara in the Speaker’s chair. But I felt good about it,” Dhanani added.
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