Legislators may be frisked in UP Assembly

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Lucknow, Feb 8: In an unprecedented move, which is perhaps the first in the Indian legislative history, Uttar Pradesh assembly speaker Sukhdeo Rajbhar today announced a possible frisking of legislators to check entry of unauthorised articles inside the house.

Mr Rajbhar made this announcement on the floor of the House after taking congizance of the use of hydrogen-filled balloons and other objectionable material by the opposition members during the Governor's joint address to the state legislature. However, opposing the directive of the speaker, the principal opposition Samajwadi Party leader Ambika Choudhury said that the action was a 'cowardly' act.''Even after terrorist attack, MPs are not frisked in Parliament...what is the reason for ordering frisking of the MLAs who were opposing the governor's address through democratic norms'', he said.

Ms Choudhury, while defending opposition's action inside the House, claimed that black balloons could not be termed as undemocratic like black flags or banners. ''Do you want that the opposition parties bring red balloons as a symbol of love on the Valentine's Day when the entire state is reeling under anarchy'', he said.

The SP leader said the party members took the democratic step to oppose the governor's address and the act of the government was arbitatory.

The speaker, in his order, said the state Home Department would probe the matter on how the members brought hydrogen balloons and entrusted the SSP of Lucknow to make proper security in the assembly.

''In the history of the state assembly such a thing has never happened...members brought gas filled balloons and even bursted them,'' he said, adding that the balloons could have caught fire and were a cause of threat to the security of the House and its members.

''It was certainly a threat to the security of the members in the House and it will not be tolerated in future'', he said while asserting that if the security personnel felt, they were free to frisk the legislators.

Condemning the incident, Mr Rajbhar, however, said the dignity and honour of the members would be maintained despite renewed security measures.

Meanwhile, Chief Minister Mayawati, who hurriedly went out of the House after the incident, took the matter seriously and asked the senior officials to probe the matter.

Later, senior officials, including chief secretary, cabinet secretary, Principal secretary( home) met the Principal secretary of assembly to assess the situation.


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