The Opposition Congress Tuesday raised objections to Uttarakhand Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat tweeting pictures of himself virtually attending the winter session of the state Assembly. Rawat is in home isolation as he contracted Covid-19.
Congress member Qazi Mohd Nizamuddin drew the attention of the House on the issue by moving a notice about point of order. The CM’s photographs of virtually attending the Assembly session were posted on his Twitter handle on both Monday and Tuesday.
आज उत्तराखण्ड विधानसभा के शीतकालीन सत्र के दूसरे दिन की कार्रवाई में वर्चुअल प्रतिभाग किया। pic.twitter.com/jwfFENIK4W
— Trivendra Singh Rawat (@tsrawatbjp) December 22, 2020
Speaking to The Indian Express later, Nizamuddin said that as per tradition and rules, photographs of the House cannot be shared in the public domain like on Twitter. “The CM took part in the house proceeding yesterday and delivered a speech on condolence messages for MLAs and ex-legislatures. He later posted his photograph of virtually attending the house business on Twitter. If his speech is part of the business of the House, his place (residence) is deemed to be part of the Assembly and hence he cannot share the photograph. And if that place was not part of the House, his speech should be removed from the proceedings,” Nizamuddin said.
“In response, the Speaker took cognizance and said he had permitted the CM to speak. He also said that such things should not be repeated in future,” Nizamuddin added.
Cabinet minister Madan Kaushik, who is executing responsibility of parliamentary affairs in the absence of the CM, said that the Speaker in the previous session had announced some premises, like visitors’ lobby, media lobby and another building, as ‘mandap’ (linked with the assembly house), but the CM’s residence was not included in that.
“If any staff clicked a photograph and posted it, that is not a violation of any rule, because there is no hard-and-fast rule. But there is a tradition that nobody clicks photos inside the House to share outside. And the CM’s residence is not a mandap,” the minister said.
Kaushik added that the Speaker on the matter has asked to be ‘be careful’ in the future.
The minister added, “The CM’s speech will remain part of the proceedings and his photograph will also not be deleted from social media.”