PATNA: Pre-lunch proceedings of Bihar assembly, held for a shorter duration on Fridays for the special weekly 'namaz', continued for a little longer during the day evoking strong protests from a section of opposition MLAs.
Speaker Vijay Kumar Sinha informed the House during Zero Hour that the proceedings, which got adjourned at 12.30 hours, will continue till 1 P.M.
Congress MLA Vijay Shankar Dubey rose to plead, "There may not be any rule stating that proceedings should be shortened in deference to namaz."
"But it is a parampara (tradition). I request that we continue respecting that.
The speaker said that traditions must be respected but can be modified as per exigencies.
"We are running short on time. Those MLAs who wanted to offer namaz were given time slots earlier and their consent has been obtained for extending the proceedings."
He thereafter asked CPI(ML) MLA Mehboob Alam whether he would like to raise the matter with regard to which he had moved a calling attention motion.
Alam replied in the affirmative and concluded his statement with a plea for adjourning the proceedings in view of namaz.
The Speaker looked annoyed and told the MLA, "You cannot have it both ways. You are taking part in the proceedings and also have an issue with extended working hours. Please keep your politics and legislative business separate."
Alam was joined by AIMIM legislator Akhtarul Iman in raising the issue.
RJD chief whip Lalit Yadav also rose to lend weight to the demand.
The speaker went ahead with the proceedings.
After a while, it was the turn of BJP MLA Sanjay Saraogi whose calling attention motion related to 'gaushalas' in the state.
By that time Alam, Iman and some other legislators rushed into the well.
Saraogi took an umbrage and said that the opposition MLAs are deliberately trying to prevent him from raising the issue of gaushalas.
"They are acting with a sectarian mindset," he said.
As tempers ran high, the speaker adjourned the proceedings till 2 P.M. Later, Saraogi said that this was not the first time when the proceedings continued for a little longer on a Friday.
"The precedent was set some time back when leader of the opposition Tejashwi Yadav had to raise a matter.
He claimed that the aim of the protesting MLAs was apparently to prevent him from raising an issue related to gaushalas, which is reflective of their "sectarian mindset.
AIMIM MLA Mohammad Anzar Nayeemi told PTI, "We have an apprehension that today's episode might be an attempt to give up the old tradition of early adjournment of proceedings in view of Jumme Ki Namaaz (Friday afternoon prayer). Lots of things have started taking place inside the House of late, like recitation of Vande Mataram. We wonder where the things are heading for."