The Rajasthan Assembly witnessed chaos on Tuesday as the Opposition protested against the Speaker for rejecting two adjournment motions. These adjournment motions pertained to the alleged tapping of phones of the people’s representatives.
A senior BJP MLA and a former minister Madan Dilawar was also suspended for seven days by the Speaker.
On Monday, the Gehlot government admitted to having tapped the phones of a few members of the Assembly during the political crisis in the state in July-August last year. In all, the House was adjourned four times on Tuesday.
The BJP had on Monday demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on moral grounds after the government said in a reply to a question in the state Assembly that it taps phones in the interest of public safety and order.
The BJP on Tuesday took up the issue and vehemently protested in the well of the House after Speaker CP Joshi rejected two adjournment motions.
During the Zero Hour, deputy leader of Opposition Rajendra Rathore and BJP MLA Kalicharan Saraf moved adjournment motions in the House on the issue of phone tapping.
The motions said that tapping the phone was a breach of privacy of people. Rathore’s motion was also about the breach of privacy due to phone tapping of elected public representatives, MLAs, MPs and Union ministers.
The speaker rejected both the motions. The leader of opposition Gulab Chand Kataria said the Opposition wants to discuss the matter. Kataria said the chief whip had lodged FIRs last year on the basis of call recordings and some people were arrested. But the Speaker insisted that he wanted proof from the Opposition over the issue of phone tapping.
Speaker rejects adjournment motion
CP Joshi said in the adjournment motions, there was no name and specific details. The Speaker wanted the Opposition to give proof of phone tapping and also names of the persons whose telephones were tapped.
He read out both the motions and said there was no mention of whose privacy has been breached. Therefore, he has rejected the motions.
“There is no clarity about whose privacy has been breached. I have rejected the motions and there cannot be a debate on the ruling of the Speaker,” he said.
When the speaker did not allow the BJP MLAs, this led to a ruckus and the Opposition members stormed to the Well forcing the Speaker to adjourn the House twice.
The House was adjourned for another half-an-hour by Chairperson Mahendrajeet Singh Malviya immediately after the House reassembled.
Rajasthan BJP MLAs continued protest
When the House reassembled, the BJP MLAs kept protesting in the Well. The speaker said the ruling of the speaker cannot be challenged. He again stated that there was no mention in the adjournment motions on whose privacy was breached.
The Speaker asked the BJP MLAs to give facts in support of their claim and said he will forward the facts to the government and the government will give a reply today itself.
The leader of the Opposition, Kataria, said it was a serious matter and the BJP will not let it go. He requested the Speaker to fix a time for a debate. He said that the phone tapping was done for political gains and the Chief Whip Mahesh Joshi lodged FIR in the police in which he alleged that some people were indulged in horse-trading to bring down the democratically elected government of Ashok Gehlot. After this, two businessmen were arrested by the investigating agencies. Kataria wanted to know the names of the MLAs and MPs whose telephones were tapped.
Kataria said the discussion on this matter should be made in the chamber of the Speaker following which the Speaker adjourned the House for half an hour for the third time.
During the ruckus, parliamentary affairs minister Shanti Dhariwal brought a motion for the suspension of the BJP MLA, Madan Dilawar and he was suspended for seven days after the House passed the motion through voice votes.
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