Madhya Pradesh Congress walks out after Speaker disallows debate on malnourished infants
BHOPAL: Congress Opposition staged a walk-out in the Madhya Pradesh state assembly on Friday after an open altercation with Speaker Sitasharan Sharma for not permitting a discussion on malnutrition deaths of children in the state. As Zero Hour commenced, senior Congress MLA Ram Niwas Rawat demanded an adjournment motion discussion under Rule 139 claiming, “Ten thousand infants have lost their lives in the state because of malnutrition. Eighty infants die everyday.”
As Rawat, who is MLA from Vijaypur seat in Sheopur district, kept insisting on an adjournment motion discussion, Speaker Sharma firmly refused to accept the appeal. “I told you to come to my chamber and discuss the issue but no one came. So I took it that you are not interested in the discussion,” the Speaker said.
This made Rawat to lose his cool and he said, “Why then do we come to the assembly if everything is to be decided in the chamber? How are you saying I was not interested when it looks like you are not interested in permitting the discussion?” Speaker was equally agitated and replied, “For the past three days you have been levelling accusations.”
Minister for school education Vijay Shah defended the Speaker. He said, “Rules are being violated by the Congress party. This is not proper behaviour.” Looking at Ram Niwas Rawat, the minister said, “You should apologise for this.”
Minister for legislative affairs, Narottam Mishra raised a point of order. Mishra said, “It is being noticed that there is constant disruption in the smooth running of the House. Opposition wanted an adjournment motion on demonetisation effects and when it was held, Congress did not listen to the chief minister’s reply. They walked away. During the debate on supplementary budget Ram Niwas Rawat walked-out.”
Mishra argued that it was suggested by a senior Congress MLA Mahendra Singh Kalukhera to have the malnutrition discussion in the next session of assembly. “When a senior MLA from the party asked for the discussion in the next session, why did the Congress keep quiet?” Mishra asked.
Speaker Sharma justified, “I did not want to make this objection that the legislative affairs minister has said, and not I had called the Opposition to discuss the issue in my chamber.”
Rawat was adamant and told the Speaker, “You had said in the last session that Simhastha will be discussed. It has not come for discussion. How do we have faith in you?” Thereafter, Rawat shouted, “Wake up government, wake up. Save infants.” And the Congress staged a walk-out.