Lucknow, Nov 19 (SocialNews.XYZ) A storm is brewing -- not in a teacup but in mobile phones -- ahead of the winter session of Uttar Pradesh legislative assembly that begins here on November 28.
Two days ago, UP assembly Speaker Satish Mahana had announced that the new rule that bars members from carrying a mobile phone inside the House will be implemented when the assembly meets for the winter session on November 28.
The ban on mobile phones in the House is part of the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of the UP Legislative Assembly-2023 that the state assembly adopted during the Monsoon session (in August 2023). It also bans display of flags or any other displayable items.
Though less than ten days are left for the winter session to begin, the state legislative assembly has not yet made any arrangements for safe deposit of mobile phones outside the legislative assembly hall.
MLAs cutting across party lines are now demanding that speaker Satish Mahana should relax the rule that bars them from carrying their mobile phones inside the House.
Samajwadi Party chief whip Manoj Kumar Pandey said: “We are public representatives. We have to remain accessible to the people of our constituency. The proceedings of the House often continue from morning to late evening. Any emergency may arise in between and a person from our constituency may need our help like getting admission to a hospital. We must be there to help them. We will request the Speaker to relax this rule or give a private secretary to the lawmakers and allow the latter to enter the House to convey important messages to them when the House is in session.”
Congress Legislature Party leader Aradhana Mishra ‘Mona’ said that the members have been allowed to carry their phones inside the House and the same arrangements should be allowed to continue. “We will request the Speaker to relax this rule,” she said.
Bahujan Samaj Party MLA Uma Shankar Singh said: “This rule was applicable earlier too in the House. The Speaker may ask that all the mobiles should be switched off or be in silent mode in the House. If any mobile rings in the House, the same can be confiscated immediately.”
For the first time, perhaps in Yogi regime, MLAs from the ruling party agree with the opposition on this issue.
BJP MLA Rajeshwar Singh said: “Everybody is a responsible member of the House in the state legislative assembly. I believe the same rules should be relaxed to allow the members to carry their mobile phones inside the House. I will also request speaker Satish Mahana to do so.”
Another BJP member Yogesh Shukla said: “If the members want to carry their mobile phones to the House, they should keep them in silent mode.”
Sources said that the Uttar Pradesh legislative assembly may be the first House to have a new rule book. It so far followed the Rules of Procedure and Conduct of Business of the UP Legislative Assembly-1958 that was later amended. It, however, did not have any provision to deal with the use of electronic equipment used to make the proceedings of the House paperless and telecast them live.
Sources further said that the new rules have been introduced to enforce discipline in the House.
A Samajwadi Party member was found telecasting House proceedings on Facebook Live, inviting the ire of speaker Satish Mahana who asked the legislator to leave the House immediately.
A senior official said that a member also used one of the computer tablets, which is fixed on seats of all the lawmakers, to play cards or video games and such activities may create a bad impression about the whole House.
Besides this, the Uttar Pradesh assembly will now provide badges displaying names of all the MLAs. The design of the badges has been approved by speaker Satish Mahana. Same badges will be given to MLAs and ministers.
“Yes, we propose to provide badges to all the members. These badges will carry names of the legislators on the top with their designation ‘Vidhayak’ below. A picture of the Vidhan Bhawan will also be displayed on the badges,” said an official of the assembly.