LUCKNOW: After allotment of a room for offering namaz on the Jharkhand Assembly premises, Samajwadi Party MLA Irfan Solanki on Tuesday demanded a similar prayer room for Muslims in the Uttar Pradesh Assembly building and urged the Speaker to consider it.
"I am an MLA for the past 15 years. Many times when assembly proceedings are going on, we Muslim MLAs have to leave the assembly to offer namaz."
"If there is a small prayer room in the Assembly we won't have to leave proceedings. On many occasions if you have a question in the pipeline and it is the time for 'azaan' (prayer call), you can either ask the question or offer namaz," said Solanki who is a member of the legislative assembly from Sisamau seat in Kanpur.
"Even at international airports, there is a room for 'ibadat' (prayer). The Assembly Speaker can consider this and its will not cause any loss to anyone," Solanki said.
The MLA, however, said that he has not given any request in writing to the Speaker in this regard.
Solanki's demand came amid a controversy over the allotment of a room for offering namaz in the Jharkhand Assembly building by the Speaker, with the BJP protesting against the move.
The ruling Jharkhand Mukti Morcha and Congress have welcomed it.
A notification dated September 2 and signed by Jharkhand Legislative Assembly Deputy Secretary Naveen Kumar by order of the Speaker said, "Allotment of room number TW 348 as Namaz Hall for offering Namaz in the new Assembly Building."
Ruckus by the opposition BJP over the issue disrupted proceedings for the second day in the Jharkhand Assembly.
The party is demanding that the order be recalled or else a Hanuman temple and places of worship of other religions also be allowed on the assembly premises.
The government must immediately revoke the "unconstitutional and undemocratic decision" on the namaz room, the saffron party has said.