New Speaker adjourns the House as Vijai calls Arlekar a dictator

GOANEWS DESK, PANAJI | 12 January 2016 17:31 IST

Speaker Anant Shet had to go for first adjournment within half an hour of his election, that too to avoid criticism over the alleged dictatorial role his predecessor.

The House turned chaotic when independent MLA Vijai Sardesai started criticising former speaker Rajendra Arlekar, calling him a dictator.

Ruling Bharatiya Janata Party MLAs sprung up on their feet objecting to Vijai’s speech, while the Fatorda MLA said he had every right to analyse the role of the speaker in general and requesting the news speaker not to repeat those mistakes.

Chief Minister Laxmikant Parsekar also ‘told’ the speaker he should have not allowed any more speeches when he as well as the opposition leader had spoken to congratulate the newly elected speaker.

While congratulating Shet, Vijai lauded his role as the deputy speaker, when he was in the speaker’s chair, allowing every member to speak.

“We always waited for you to sit in the chair so that we could speak freely, without any intervention or the common phrase – Tum Bos (तूं बस)”, he said sarcastically.

Vijai also recalled how many opposition members were told to sit the minute they started criticising the BJP government and how their Calling Attention Motions were converted into Zero-Hour mentions.

Surveillance cameras were installed at the room of choosing Starred Questions by lots, as though MLAs were thieves”, he said.

“We never expected a person, who worked against emergency and for freedom of speech, to act dictatorial and as a protective shield of the government”, said Vijai.

As ruling party members disrupted his speech, demanding that Vijai be stopped from making such allegations, Speaker Shet simply adjourned the House for a lunch break.

After they assembled post-lunch, the speaker started his thanks-giving speech, thus ending the chaos he faced on the first day of his election.

ARLEKAR ABUSED POWER?

As he was not allowed to speak, Vijai later met the media in the Assembly complex to show a copy of a letter written by Arlekar, as the speaker, directing the Dhargalim Panchayat secretary to keep the process of filling a librarian’s post in abeyance.

Presenting the copy of the letter written by Arlekar on 9 January last year on the Speaker’s letterhead, he asked how the Speaker could direct the Panchayat secretary not to fill any particular post.

“This is blatant violation and abuse of the speaker’s chair”, said Vijai.

The issue had to be raised by going to the media because the Assembly Question in this regard was not allowed, he claimed.

While the Arlekar used the speaker’s letter to give directives to the Panchayat secretary, the independent MLA said the librarian finally got his job back only after approaching the high court.

This proved that the directive given by the speaker was also illegal, he said.

At the same time, the Fatorda MLA also lauded Arlekar’s initiative in making the Assembly paperless while also introducing Konkani terminology for the House proceedings. 

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