Speaker elected in MP House; BJP blackballs proceedings


Bhopal, Acrimonious scenes were witnessed in the Madhya Pradesh Vidhan Sabha over the Speaker’s election on Tuesday and the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) boycotted proceedings. Following a couple of adjournments, voting was conducted and Congress candidate Narmada Prasad Prajapati declared the victor. Amidst the BJP blackball, 120 votes were cast in Mr Prajapati’s favour and he assumed the Speaker’s chair. Mr Prajapati was felicitated by Chief Minister Kamal Nath, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Govind Singh, other ministers and members. Accusing Pro Tem Speaker Deepak Saxena of adopting an arbitrary stance, the BJP said that he read out the four pro-Prajapati proposals but did not do that in the context of a proposal favouring BJP nominee Vijay Shah despite the matter being on the agenda. “I proposed Mr Shah’s name. We shall now march to the Raj Bhavan and submit a memorandum to the Governor,” erstwhile Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan told the press in the Assembly premises. Meanwhile, Dr Govind Singh alleged that the BJP is playing politics and pointed out that the party fielded a candidate despite not enjoying a majority. “The BJP attempted to lure some members including from the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) but failed and are now endeavouring to salvage their prestige,” he told media. As soon as the session’s second day’s proceedings commenced, the Pro Tem Speaker administered oaths to BJP members Yashodhara Raje Scindia and Malini Gaur as they were not sworn in on Monday. Mr Nath congratulated Mr Gopal Bhargava on becoming Leader of the Opposition. Subsequently, the Pro Tem Speaker referred to four proposals received through Dr Govind Singh and favouring Mr Prajapati for the post of Speaker. When Mr Saxena did not read out the BJP proposal, the party’s members began speaking all at once, raised slogans and stormed the well. Mr Chouhan accused the Pro Tem Speaker of turning a Nelson’s eye to the rules. Owing to the pandemonium, proceedings were adjourned for ten minutes. The situation did not change after the interval and another similar adjournment followed. When the proceedings recommenced, the BJP boycotted the same. A BSP member sought “division of votes”. Earlier, the Chief Minister stated that numerous first-timers were present and the BJP’s behaviour was not conveying the right message to them.