Bihar minister “humiliated” by cops outside assembly; House shocked

  • | Thursday | 2nd December, 2021

Patna, Dec 2 (PTI) The Bihar assembly was on Thursday shocked to hear that a minister in the Nitish Kumar government had to suffer “humiliation” on account of high-handedness by police personnel managing the movement of vehicles inside the premises. Labour resources minister Jibesh Kumar Mishra said on the floor of the House that he got late because “the traffic policeman on duty made me halt till the cavalcade of Patna DM and SP passed through”. Addressing Speaker Vijay Kumar Sinha, the minister exclaimed “I could have understood were it your cavalcade or that of the Chief Minister. But this was appalling. Are DMs and SSPs above a minister?” This led to strong reactions from MLAs in the opposition, prominent among them being RJD"s Alok Mehta, Lalit Yadav and Prahlad Yadav, Congress" Ajeet Sharma, and Mehboob Alam of the CPI(ML). Mehta made a pointed remark “any punitive action must not be limited to lower rank officials who live in terror of their higher-ups and, therefore, end up behaving inappropriately”. Parliamentary affairs minister Vijay Kumar Chaudhary rose to intervene and said “it has been a convention of this House that not just the ministers but every member is deemed to be a part of the government. Insult of a member is thus a grave matter”. However, since the incident took place inside the assembly premises, it is the Speaker"s prerogative to decide the course of action, Chaudhary said. The government, he said, promises to take adequate action on its part. The Speaker said “this is a very serious matter. I had underscored the need to uphold the dignity of the House on the opening day of the current session. The matter will be looked into at the Business Advisory Committee which is scheduled during the lunch hour”. However, assurances by the government as well as the Speaker failed to pacify the opposition MLAs who continued raising slogans denouncing the high-handed “naukarshahi” (bureaucracy). The Speaker adjourned the House for about 15 minutes asking the agitated members to meet him inside his chamber before business resumed at 11.45 A.M. Meanwhile, a strongly worded statement was issued in protest by Sanjay Jaiswal, who heads the state unit of BJP, to which Jibesh Kumar Mishra belongs. Prime Minister Narendra Modi had only recently stressed the need for officials to be courteous towards elected representatives, said Jaiswal who is a Lok Sabha member. “While this is a convention followed across the country, in Bihar some bureaucrats seem to betray a sort of regal arrogance. The Speaker must take cognisance and act”, he added. PTI PKD NAC MM MM

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