In a major controversy, the Jharkhand Assembly has decided to reserve a separate room inside the Jharkhand Vidhan Sabha to offer Namaz.
The Jharkhand Legislative Assembly Secretariat has issued an order on September 2 stating that room number TW 348 in the new Assembly building of Jharkhand will be allotted for Muslims to offer the Namaz. The order was issued by Naveen Kumar, the Deputy Secretary of the Jharkhand legislative assembly.
In an order issued on September 2nd, it is stated that room number TW 348, in the new Assembly building of Jharkhand, has been allotted to offer the Namaz: Jharkhand Vidhan Sabha Secretariat— ANI (@ANI) September 4, 2021
Presently, the 81 member Jharkhand Legislative Assembly has four Muslim MLAs. Two Muslim MLAs are from the Congress party- Irfan Ansari and Alamgir Alam. The other two – Dr Sarfaraz Ahmad and Haji Hussain Ansari – belong to Jharkhand Mukti Morcha (JMM).
The decision of the Jharkhand Assembly Speaker to allot a dedicated space for Muslims inside a secular institution such as Vidhan Sabha has evoked a strong response across the state.
BJP objects, demands a temple inside assembly premises.
BJP, the largest opposition party in Jharkhand, has slammed the Jharkhand government for its controversial decision and said that a separate room should also be allotted to Hindus in the state Assembly recite Hanuman Chalisa.
BJP leader Babu Lal Marandi said that the temple of democracy should stay as the temple of democracy only. He added that the allotment of a separate room at the assembly for Namaz is wrong.
“If Muslims can offer Namaz in a separate room, why can’t Hindus be allowed to recite Hanuman Chalisa (in a separate room). I urge the Secretary of Jharkhand Legislative Assembly that five rooms or a hall be allowed to Hindus to recite Hanuman Chalisa,” another BJP leader said.
Former speaker and BJP leader CP Singh has also made similar demands and said that a Hanuman Temple should be built in the Assembly premises.
I’m not against Namaz room but then they should also build a temple at Jharkhand Vidhan Sabha premises. I even demand that Hanuman Temple should be set up there. If Speaker approves we can build the temple at our own cost: Former speaker & BJP leader CP Singh pic.twitter.com/5YBEDWgGBM— ANI (@ANI) September 4, 2021
“I’m not against Namaz room, but then they should also build a temple at Jharkhand Vidhan Sabha premises. I even demand that Hanuman Temple should be set up there. If Speaker approves, we can build the temple at our own cost,” he said.
Meanwhile, responding to the allegations, JMM spokesperson Manoj Pandey reportedly said that no mosque has been constructed inside the assembly, but only a room has been arranged for offering prayers. He claimed that this system is not a new one.
The JMM spokesperson said that the new building was built during the BJP rule, and if BJP has so much love for Hindus, then a temple should have been built inside the assembly premises then. He added that the arrangements have been made for Muslim MLAs to offer Namaz in the Vidhan Sabha on Friday. Pandey added that if anyone wished to recite Hanuman Chalisa on Tuesday, then the room will be arranged for them too.
In 2019, Prime Minister Narendra Modi had inaugurated the new building of the Jharkhand Assembly at Kute gram. The three-storey building, constructed at the cost of Rs 465 crore, is the first paperless Assembly in the country.