The decision of the Jharkhand assembly to officially notify a specious room of the assembly as a prayer room for Muslims has emboldened an MLA of Samajwadi Party of Uttar Pradesh assembly Irfan Solanki to demand a separate room for namaz at Uttar Pradesh assembly building too.
The MLA wrote to Uttar Pradesh assembly Speaker Hridya Narayan Dixit and demanded to allot a prayer room for Muslim MLAs. He stated that attending assembly sessions and offering worship both are for him. He claimed that in Bihar a separate room was provided for prayer. Besides, he added that similar demand is being made in Maharashtra also. He said that he is an MLA from the past 15 years and he had a problem in offering namaz during the session of the assembly.
The SP MLA has made this demand ahead of Uttar Pradesh assembly election scheduled the next year. This move comes days after the Jharkhand Assembly made a separate room for offering namaz.
The Jharkhand assembly Speaker Rabindra Nath Mahato is still unapologetic that by issuing an official notification to allot a room (TW-348) at the new assembly building for namaz, he might have grossly violated the Indian Constitution. The constitution prohibits any discrimination on the religious line.
The Speaker is defending the indefensible stating that in the old assembly building, too, there used to be a room meant for offering namaaz. Previously, the assembly was operating on the Russian Hostel building of the HEC. But the Speaker has the tough time to substantiate that in the past a space on the assembly premise was officially allocated through the notification. Now the Speaker insists that one should not go to the notification part.
Speaking to the OpIndia Jharkhand assembly’s first Speaker, Inder Singh Namdhari who remained in chair from November 2000 till 2006 said that no room was allocated to offer namaz till he was the Speaker. The utterly unconstitutional act of the Jharkhand assembly is being backed by Hemant Soren led JMM-Congress-RJD government. Now this has snowballed into a political and legal controversy.
Ranchi resident Bhairav Singh on Tuesday filed a PIL at the Jharkhand High Court. Lawyer Rajiv Kumar appearing on the behalf of Singh confirmed the development stating that they have cited provisions of Indian Constitution to set aside the order of the assembly Speaker.