Agnipath rocks Bihar assembly

Bihar Assembly was adjourned till 2 pm, less than half an hour after commencement of proceedings on Monday, when the House plunged into turmoil over an adjournment motion against Agnipath moved by the opposition which also, called the scheme a dictatorial step by the Prime Minister.

Proceedings began at 11 am, amid vociferous demands by opposition MLAs that the adjournment motion of Lalit Yadav (RJD) and Ajeet Sharma (Congress) be accepted right away.

Speaker Vijay Kumar Sinha initially pleaded that the matter be raised after the Question Hour was over but allowed Yadav and Sharma to read out the text of the motion to pacify the opposition.

Nonetheless, opposition MLAs, many of whom trooped into the well shouting slogans, remained adamant that legislative business for the day be put off and a debate be held on the new scheme of recruitment in armed forces.

This met with disapproval from parliamentary affairs minister Vijay Kumar Chaudhary who said “an adjournment motion is either accepted or rejected outright. You extended them a rare favour by allowing them to read out the text. Now this unruly behaviour leaves us bewildered”.

Slogan chanting continued and when some members shouted “down with the Prime Minister’s dictatorship”, Deputy CM Tarkishor Prasad rose in his chair to object.

“The matter being raised falls outside the purview of the state assembly. Moreover, utterances against the Prime Minister on the floor of the House sets a bad precedent”, said Prasad, who is also the BJP’s leader in the House.

The Speaker pleaded with the agitated opposition MLAs for a while, pointing in the direction of the visitors’ gallery with the remark “children have come to watch the proceedings. Please behave”.

However, as the legislators did not relent, the proceedings were adjourned till lunch.