Bhopal: Raucous scenes were witnessed in Madhya Pradesh assembly on Monday as the BJP moved a breach of privilege motion against Congress MLA Jitu Patwari, accusing him of making objectionable remarks about the media. The Congress contested the move, saying the remarks had already been expunged from the proceedings by the Speaker.
Patwari on Friday had asked a question to Public Relations Minister Narottam Mishra on the advertisements given to media, after which the BJP accused the Rau MLA of making contentious remarks.
The two parties restarted the debate on Monday, with BJP MLA Yashpal Singh Sisodia moving a breach of privilege motion against Patwari during zero hour.
The BJP lawmaker from Mandsaur claimed that Patwari used objectionable words for the media and termed it an attempt to stifle the press. He said that a disparaging campaign was underway on social media against the press, with all kinds of adverse comments being made.
Congress chief whip in assembly, Ram Niwas Rawat, opposed the motion as the speaker, Dr Sitasaran Sharma, had expunged the remarks from the proceedings on Friday.
Soon war of words ensued between the members of the ruling BJP and the opposition. Narottam Mishra joined in, claiming that the remarks were not expunged from the proceedings.
BJP MLAs, led by Mishra, accused Patwari of not tendering an apology for his remarks and sought the termination of his membership. Home minister Bhupendra Singh said that as media was not a member of this House, so making adverse remarks against it amounted to impropriety and media was hurt nationally.
Amid the din, the speaker Dr Sitasaran Sharma had to adjourn the House twice. Winding up the debate, the speaker announced that the matter has been handed over to the Privilege Committee of the assembly.
Later speaking to the media, Singh said that Patwari did not intend to insult anyone. “If anyone felt hurt, I apologise for that.” He said that he was an MLA since 1985 but had never seen such scenes in the House. “The ruling party was trying to gag the opposition and was degrading the dignity of the House,” he said.