January 2018 News

Uproar As Speaker Blames Dy CM For Security Breach

17 January 2018
The Tribune (Chandigarh)
Arteev Sharma

Jammu: Jammu and Kashmir Assembly Speaker Kavinder Gupta today left the state government red-faced after he alleged that Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh's escort vehicles 'breached his security protocol' but the police did not act on his complaint to 'please' the Dy CM. Gupta's remarks triggered a protest in the Assembly with opposition members cornering the government for 'failing' to protect the privileges of the Speaker as well as the MLAs and staged a walkout from the House 'to show their solidarity' with the Speaker. The matter was raised when the House was discussing the grants to the parliamentary affairs ministry and the MLAs were raising their concerns over violation of protocol and privileges by senior officers in the state administration. Independent MLA from Udhampur Pawan Gupta said: 'Leave aside the protocol set for me, even the Speaker of this House has not been spared. In the Constitution of J&K there is no post of Deputy Chief Minister then how can there be the same protocol for him as reserved for Chief Minister,' the MLA said, adding that 'I saw a plaque where the name of Deputy Chief Minister was written above the Speaker. It should not have happened'. He said being the local MLA, he was supposed to share the dais with other dignitaries during the inauguration of Chenani-Nashri tunnel by Prime Minister Narendra Modi last year but he was not allowed to do so because BJP workers objected to it. The Speaker intervened and asked Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Abdul Rehman Veeri to take utmost care of the protocol for legislators. And, then went on to say: 'The escort vehicles of the Deputy Chief Minister breached my security, criss-crossing my vehicles many times. I wrote to the SSP but he did not submit his report because he wanted to please him (Dy CM). There could have been an accident. I have not received any response too,' the Speaker said. Showing solidarity with the Speaker, the entire Opposition raised slogans of 'Speaker saheb aage bado hum aapke saath hai' and sought the government's response in the matter. Later, all NC and Congress members staged a walkout from the House. Intervening in the debate, Veeri said the issue raised by the Speaker was 'genuine and serious' and the entire House was concerned. 'We will look into the matter,' he said. Earlier, the legislators from treasury as well as opposition benches cornered the government over the 'government failure' to protect their privileges. 'The role of a MLA has been confined and limited. MLAs are not being treated properly by bureaucrats,' PDP legislator Javed Hassan Baig said. Kulgam legislator Mohammad Yousuf Tarigami said the officers in the state administration were not giving due respect to MLAs as enshrined in the Constitution. 'We request you to create a separate office for the parliamentary affair ministry inside the state legislature where the MLAs can raise their issues,' Tarigami said.