Home Dehradun Suspension of Cong MLAs expunged from Assembly proceedings’ record

Suspension of Cong MLAs expunged from Assembly proceedings’ record

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By Arun Pratap Singh

Dehradun, 6 Sep: Assembly Speaker Ritu Khanduri Bhushan not only agreed to revoke the suspension of 15 Congress MLAs, who had been suspended in the Budget session by her, but also agreed to delete the suspension issue from the proceedings of the Assembly.

It so happened that, during Zero Hour, senior Congress MLA Pritam Singh raised a point of order, claiming that due procedure had not been followed while suspending the 15 Congress MLAs in the month of March during the Budget Session. He also read out from the rule book to stress that the suspension was wrong on several grounds. Under the rules, the government or a member should have proposed the suspension of the members, but no such proposal was made for suspension of the MLAs by the government and yet the members were suspended. He also added that the names of those being suspended ought to be called out by the Speaker while suspending them, but no names had been called out, thus making the suspension wrong in the eyes of the law.

The Speaker, consequently, ordered revocation of suspension and then also went ahead to order expungement of the proceedings related to the suspension of the Congress MLAs. Speaker Ritu Khanduri Bhushan then informed the House that the record related to the suspension of Congress MLAs on grounds of indiscipline had been expunged. This comes as a huge victory for the Congress party and some embarrassment for the ruling party.

Congress MLA Tilak Raj Behad raised the question of breach of privilege in the House. He stated that officers are not inviting local MLAs to government functions like laying of foundation stones, etc. It was also pointed out that officers often “forget” to add the prefix of Honourable on the phone when they pick up the calls of the MLAs. In response, the Speaker directed the Chief Secretary to issue instructions to the officials for strict adherence to the protocol reserved for the MLAs. At the same time, she also asked him to issue directions to the DMs and other officers to necessarily address the MLAs as Honourable MLAs while communicating with them over the phone or in person.

Later, during Zero Hour, some notices of the members were also read out under Rule 300. Under Rule 58 (Calling Attention to matters of urgent public importance), several members pointed out damage to roads in their respective constituencies due to rains and urged the government to ensure early repairs.