Amid the political slugfest over allotment of room for ‘namaaz’ in Jharkhand Assembly, Speaker Rabindra Nath Mahto on Thursday formed a seven-member, all-party committee to examine the issue and submit a report within 45 days.
The seven-member panel, with Stephen Marandi as convener, has Pradeep Yadav, Neelkanth Singh Munda, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Vinod Singh, Lambodar Mahto and Deepika Pandey Singh as members.
Following these developments in the House, BJP MLA from Sarath Assembly constituency, Randhir Singh, told reporters outside the Assembly that the government formed the committee to look into the matter only due to the opposition party’s sustained protests. But, the BJP legislator said, “we don’t believe in any committee. We want the notification to get cancelled; we will protest until that is done.”
When a reporter asked Singh for his reaction on the presence of temples inside many police stations, the MLA said: “India is a Hindu rashtra, and there will be temples inside the police station…. It is not secular; it is a Hindu rashtra…mandir rahega, par majid nahi rahega (temples will remain, but not mosques).”
Opposition BJP had created an uproar, protesting over the issue both in and outside the Assembly, throughout the monsoon session of Assembly since it began on September 3.
On Thursday, ruling Jharkhand Mukti Morcha legislator Sarfaraz Ahmad made a proposal to the Speaker to look into the aspect of whether there is a need to form a committee at all.
Speaker Mahto later said that the confrontation has impacted the Assembly as well as the state, and has sent out a wrong message to the people.
He said: “We need to end political confrontation in the interest of the people. It is not good for MLAs either. Under the circumstances, I took a decision to place the matter before an all-party committee and the Chair will support whatever decision is given by it.”
On September 2, an order issued by the Jharkhand Assembly Secretariat, signed by Under Secretary Navin Kumar, had stated: “In the New Vidhan Sabha building, room number TW-348 is allotted for offering Namaaz. This is by the order of the Assembly Speaker.”