Upset Rajasthan Speaker tells MLAs, 'Remove me if you want'

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Jaipur, Mar 10 (PTI) Upset over the absence of ministers from the House and MLAs not following rules, Rajasthan Assembly Speaker C P Joshi on Wednesday asked the members to remove him if they do not like him for taking strict action.

During Zero Hour in the Assembly, the Speaker said the House members are not serious about meetings of committees.

'It is seen that there is nobody to ask questions from officers when CAG report mentions that excess grant is being given repeatedly to several departments,' Joshi said.

'Officers get promoted. I have to ask questions if public money is not put to good use. Ministers get annoyed if I ask a question. If you do not trust me then find a new Speaker. I will be happy,' Joshi said.

He said it is expected that the ruling and opposition members both follow the rules of the House.

'It is a matter of regret that ministers do not remain in the House despite ruling that they should participate in the Zero Hour. You have chosen me. If you want, you can remove me. I will be happy,' Joshi said.

During the Question Hour, Congress' Ramesh Meena got into an argument with Speaker over seating arrangement in the House.

Joshi said Meena is a three-time legislator and knows that the Speaker does not make seating arrangements.

Due to COVID-19, seating arrangements have been changed in the House and not all the seats have mic. The Speaker had asked Meena to ask question from other seat, which Meena denied, saying he would ask question from his seat only.

The Speaker did not allow him to ask a question and said he had taken action in such a matter earlier. 'Nobody can dictate the Chair,' he said.

'I expect from parliamentary affairs minister that he has made the seating arrangements. So, if any legislator dictates the Chair, it will not be tolerated. I will have to take strict action. If you do not like strict action then remove me from the post,' Joshi said, clarifying in the Zero Hour.

He said the people will lose trust if the dignity of the House is not maintained. 'The incident happened today is unfortunate and should not recur, he said.

'I am not arbitrarily making rules,' the Speaker said.

Joshi also commented that the Assembly has become a centre of grievance redressal and discussion on laws is becoming less here day by day.

He said efforts should be made to solve the problems of the people.

'I believe in Speaker activism, I do not believe in the role of silent speaker. When I question, the ministers get angry. But, the Rs 332-crore scheme of the Water Department is still not being completed and its cost is escalating. It is necessary to raise the question to stop the waste of public money,' he said. PTI AG CK