Jharkhand namaz room row: High drama in state Assembly as BJP stalls proceedings, sings bhajans

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Updated: September 07, 2021 2:52 PM

The BJP MLAs have been protesting the earmarking of the space to offer namaz in the state assembly and the state’s employment policy. 

The BJP MLAs have been protesting the earmarking of the space to offer namaz in the state assembly and the state’s employment policy. 

The BJP created a ruckus over the allotment of a ‘namaz hall’ in the Jharkhand Assembly with its MLAs chanting ‘Jai Shri Ram’ and Hanuman Chalisa while trooping into the Well of the state assembly. The protests stopped the assembly from transacting any substantial business for the third day of its Monsoon Session.  

The BJP MLAs have been protesting the earmarking of the space to offer namaz in the state assembly and the state’s employment policy. 

On Tuesday, Speaker Rabindra Nath Mehto repeatedly urged the protesting members to allow the conduct of business. ““No disrespect would be tolerated to the chair. If you are angry, beat me but don’t disrupt the proceedings,” the Speaker told the protesting MLAs.

“Please go back to your seats…I am pained. The Chair is not a subject for mockery. Yesterday, you behaved badly…This is the question of the faith of 3.5 crore people and your conduct gives pain,” he added.

Replying to Mahto’s remarks, BJP MLA CP Singh said that it was an emotional statement by the Speaker but even his party MLAs were sad to seen that the former’s “behaviour was not impartial”.

Speaker Mahto asked BJP MLA Bhanu Pratap Shahi to respect Hanuman Chalisa and not to use it for political gains. Mahto said may ‘Bajrang Bali’ grant wisdom to the agitating MLAs.

The speaker has allotted room number TW 348 for offering namaz, prompting demand from the BJP to build a Hanuman temple and places of worship of other religions in the assembly premises.

The BJP workers on Sunday had burnt the effigies of Chief Minister Hemant Soren and the speaker during protests across the state against the decision on the Namaz room in the Assembly.

A notification dated September 2 and signed by Jharkhand Legislative Assembly Deputy Secretary Naveen Kumar by order of the speaker said, “Allotment of room number TW 348 as Namaz Hall for offering Namaz in the new Assembly Building.”

The ruling Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and ally Conngress welcomed it.

As soon as the notification came to the fore on Saturday, former Jharkhand chief minister and BJP national vice-president Raghubar Das hit out at them. “MLAs in the Hemant Soren government openly support the Taliban. A separate Namaz Hall in the Jharkhand Legislative Assembly is a result of this ideology. Otherwise, any person who believes in Indian democracy would not do such an act.”

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