UP diktat: MLAs can’t carry phones inside Assembly

No banners or posters in House as winter session begins on Tuesday
(Representational Image)
(Representational Image)

LUCKNOW: The four-day winter session of the Uttar Pradesh legislature, beginning on Tuesday, will usher in a new set of rules that prohibit members from carrying mobile phones, banners and posters inside the House. On the other hand, in a reflection of their current heft in the politically most crucial state of the country, the Congress and the BSP will be seen in smaller office accommodations reassigned to them on the premises of Vidhan Bhawan.

According to the Vidhan Sabha secretariat, the winter session, which will conclude on December 1, the MLA s and MLCs will no longer be allowed to bring in mobile phones. Besides, carrying flags and banners into the House during the session will also be prohibited.

Around 10 days back, Assembly Speaker Satish Mahana announced the commencement of the winter session. He said the new rule barring members from carrying mobile phones inside the House would be implemented in the assembly during the session.

The ban is part of the rules of procedure and conduct of business of the UP Legislative Assembly-2023 that the assembly adopted during the monsoon session in August. However, MLAs cutting across party lines demanded the Speaker relax the rule on mobile phones. Samajwadi Party chief whip Manoj Kumar Pandey said public representatives have to be accessible to the people of their constituencies even during long hours of House proceedings. He urged the Speaker to relax the rule or attach a private secretary to the lawmakers allowing the latter to enter the House to convey important messages.

Congress Legislature Party leader Aradhana Mishra ‘Mona’ too demanded the speaker to relax the rule while BSP MLA Uma Shankar Singh said the Speaker might ask the members to keep mobiles switched off or in silent mode inside the House.

Ruling party MLAs like Rajeshwar Singh and Yogesh Shukla agree with their opposition counterparts.
The new rules are meant to enforce discipline in the House. An SP MLA was found telecasting House proceedings on Facebook Live, inviting the ire of Speaker Satish Mahana who asked him to leave the House immediately.

The UP assembly will also provide badges displaying the names of all MLAs. Meanwhile, both the Congress and the BSP have been assigned smaller office accommodations on Vidhan Bhawan premises. Currently, the Congress has only two MLAs and the BSP one. However, an official attributed it to the ongoing renovation work on Vidhan Bhawan premises.

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