Jharkhand assembly in uproar as BJP MLAs troop into well in support of Babulal Marandi

Some Congress MLAs, including Irfan Ansari and Umashankar Akela, also came down to the well raising slogans against the BJP

Babulal Marandi (photo: National Herald archives)
Babulal Marandi (photo: National Herald archives)
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PTI

The Jharkhand assembly on Thursday witnessed uproarious scenes after a legislator demanded action against BJP state chief Babulal Marandi for alleging that the speaker was not allowing him to speak in the house. BJP MLAs protested by trooping into the well, and they also demanded that the legislator's allegation be expunged from proceedings of the house.

Some Congress MLAs, including Irfan Ansari and Umashankar Akela, also came down to the well raising slogans against the BJP, leading to the adjournment of the house until 12.30 pm.

Before being adjourned, the house functioned for only seven minutes until 11.20 am. This was the fifth consecutive day when the question hour was washed out amidst protests.

Earlier in the day, as the house assembled for the day's business at 11.13 am, Poreyahat legislator Pradip Yadav, who jumped ship to the Congress after winning the 2019 assembly election on a JVM-P ticket, claimed that Raj Dhanwar MLA Babulal Marandi has alleged in the media that the speaker was not allowing him to speak in the house.

Yadav claimed that this amounted to contempt of the chair and demanded strong action against Marandi. Yadav claimed that Marandi, a former chief minister, had on Wednesday told reporters outside the assembly that the speaker had not allowed him to speak during a discussion on the 1932 Khatiyan-based recruitment policy, which was passed in the house by a voice vote.

Responding to Yadav's claim, leader of the Opposition Amar Bauri said Marandi, who is a member of the house and was elected by 4 lakh people of Raj Dhanwar assembly segment, has a right to speak but he was not allowed despite keeping his hand raised. Bauri also said Yadav's allegations should be expunged from the proceedings and he should seek an apology in the house.

The subsequent ruckus led to an adjournment of the house at 11.20 am. When the house reassembled at 12.35 pm, JMM legislator Stephen Marandi again raised the issue and was supported by minister Alamgir Alam and MLAs Pradip Yadav and Irfan Ansari. They all demanded action against Marandi.

BJP MLA CP Singh protested and claimed that it was not an issue of contempt.

Speaker Rabindra Nath Mahto said he would consult the rules on the issue. BJP members continued to protest and sought an apology from the Congress.

Amid the ruckus, finance minister Rameshwar Oraon tabled a CAG report on the performance audit of direct benefit transfer in scholarships and social security pension schemes in Jharkhand. Thereafter, the speaker adjourned the house at 12.47 pm until 2.00 pm.

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