RANCHI: Legislators who were flouting Covid-19 protocols by not wearing face masks should be imposed financial penalties, Ranchi MLA C P Singh said in the Jharkhand Assembly on Friday.
Moving a call attention motion, Singh, a former state minister, pointed out to Speaker Rabindranath Mahto that while the Jharkhand government had levied more than Rs 2 lakh in penalties from the citizens who did not wear masks, MLAs and ministers from the ruling JMM-Congress-RJD coalition were flouting the directive. “Why will the MLAs not be fined if the government can fine common people hefty amounts?” Singh questioned.
Responding to Singh’s charge, state rural affairs minister Alamgir Alam said: “The House is in session since February 26. Why not pull out the recordings of House proceedings and CCTV footage and look at them? All those who did not wear masks will be penalised then.”
Intervening into the war of words, Mahto issued a directive from the chair that all lawmakers will observe the protocols and wear face masks. The ongoing Budget session is due to conclude on March 23.
In the second half, Singh took a jibe at the government over rising crime rate. Bringing in a cut motion to initiate a debate in the budgetary grants of the state department of home, jail and disaster management, Singh said: “Goons, thieves, bandits and criminals are chanting the slogan Hemant Hai to Himmat Hai.”
Speaking against the motion, chief minister Hemant Soren condemned Singh’s remarks. “He is the senior-most legislator in the House. His conduct in the session has been disappointing. He tore copies of government policies on the floor of the House. He should have been suspended for at least seven days,” Soren said.