| BJP legislators protest at the Assembly on Wednesday. Picture by Nagendra Kumar Singh |
The conflict between the Assembly Speaker, Uday Narayan Chaudhary, and the BJP surfaced on Wednesday after the party MLA, Achudanand, was not allowed to ask the question listed in his name.
The Speaker refused to budge to the BJP’s repeated requests to allow Achudanand ask his question. Angry over Chaudhary’s resolute stand, the BJP MLAs entered the well of the House claiming that their voice was being suppressed.
Achudanand’s question related to the increase in the road construction price because of the ban on stone mining was listed as the first question. As the House proceedings began amid the BJP legislators’ slogans against the police lathicharge on contract teachers on the previous day, the Speaker called the name of Achudanand four times.
Achudanand did not respond the first time, but he replied to the call of the Speaker three successive times. But Chaudhary refused to allow Achudanand’s question to be answered, stressing that the MLA had failed to respond to his call and directed another legislator to ask his question.
When Achudanand protested, the Speaker retorted that the MLA had come into the House after he had called his name four times. “I shall not revert to the first question. The House will run according to the rules,” Chaudhary said.
The BJP MLAs stormed into the Well raising slogans. The Speaker declared that he would not listen to them as long as they were in the Well of the House.
Going back to their seats, BJP MLAs Arun Kumar and Vinod Narayan Jha pleaded that their colleague be allowed to ask his question. Water resources minister Vijay Kumar Chaudhary accused the BJP MLAs of not showing respect to the rules of the House.
Ultimately, the Speaker agreed to postpone the question, meaning it could be taken up on another day.
The BJP members also demanded a CBI probe into the alleged drug scam. They entered the Well again raising slogans, forcing the Speaker to adjourn the House. During the post-lunch session, the Assembly passed the budgetary demand of the rural works department.