Rajasthan Assembly witnesses uproar over phone tapping matter

·3-min read

Jaipur, Mar 16 (PTI) The opposition BJP in Rajasthan on Tuesday protested in the well of the House after Speaker CP Joshi rejected two adjournment motions pertaining to alleged phone tapping of public representatives.

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 BJP had on Monday demanded the resignation of Chief Minister Ashok Gehlot on moral grounds after his government said in a reply to a question in the state Assembly that it taps phones in the interest of public safety and order.

Though the reply of the government did not specify whose phones were tapped, the BJP linked it to the phone tapping controversy that erupted during the political crisis created by the rebellion of former deputy CM Sachin Pilot and 18 other Congress MLAs against the leadership of CM Gehlot last year.

Today, the motion moved by Saraf was about the situation created due to the breach of privacy of people because of phone tapping while 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 said the opposition wants to discuss the matter. Kataria said the chief whip had lodged FIRs last year on the basis of call recording and some people were arrested.

Joshi said in the adjournment motions, there was no name and specific details.

He read out both the motions and said there was no mention whose privacy was 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 to speak, they created uproar and stormed to the well. The speaker allowed other members to speak on their adjournment motions.

As the uproar continued, the speaker adjourned the House for half an hour.

The House was adjourned for another half an hour by chairperson Mahendrajeet Singh Malviya immediately after the House reassembled.

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.

Leader of 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 debate tomorrow.

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 a third time. PTI SDA DV DV