Jharkhand chief minister regrets minister’s remarks

Ranchi, March 3 (IANS) The opposition in Jharkhand on Thursday forced Chief Minister Raghubar Das to express regret over one of his ministers’ alleged remark that legislators take money to raise questions in the assembly.

The opposition moved an adjournment motion in the assembly to discuss Jharkhand Agriculture Minister Randhir Singh’s remark made last week, which, it said, sought to damage the sanctity of the house.

“The minister’s remark is unfortunate and it demeans the sanctity of the house,” said Leader of opposition and Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM) leader Hemant Soren.

Randhir Singh had allegedly said that the MLAs take money to raise questions in the state assembly.

Heman Soren also expressed unhappiness over Randhir Singh’s remark that the previous government did nothing for the state.

“There is a move to establish that the tribal Chief Ministers in past did nothing for the state. This is insulting and an FIR should be lodged against the Minister under the SC and ST Act”.

The house witnessed heated arguments over the issue between opposition members and the agriculture minister. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Saryu Rai questioned the opposition move to raise the issue.

The opposition members came into the well of the house and sought an apology from the minister. There was much acrimony when Pradeep Yadav of Jharkhand Vikas Morcha (JVM-P) said, “The sanctity of the house has been put in the dock. When the minister ditched the party from which he won, how will he hold the sanctity of the government and house?”

Reacting sharply, the minister said Yadav himself had ditched his parent party BJP.

Randhir Singh was one of the six legislators who had defected to BJP, subsequently becoming a minister in the Raghubar Das government.

The Chief Minister pacified the opposition by expressing regrets over the minister’s remarks.

“Outside the house the ruling and opposition parties do indulge in allegations and counter allegations. But, in parliamentary traditions, a system should be followed. All the members of the house should maintain the sanctity of the house and if the minister’s remark has hurt anyone, I regret such a remark,” Raghubar Das said.

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