Ranchi (Jharkhand) [India], September 6 (ANI): BJP MLAs staged protest at the entrance of the Jharkhand Legislative Assembly on Monday over allotment of room for offering 'Namaz' in the State Assembly.
Slamming the decision, Biranchi Narayan, the chief whip of BJP said, "Legislative Assembly is a temple of democracy and no religion should be practised here. We raised our demand because honourable speaker's decision (of a separate room for Namaz) disgraces democracy ."
Further, he said that no religion should get special treatment, "He gave a specific religion special treatment and this is why members of other religions are feeling insulted. As the speaker, we expect him to be just, and take care of democracy," he added.
Saying that BJP is 'not interested in reciting the Hanuman Chalisa or doing ram-ram', Narayan said, "If the government will turn deaf, we will also resort to Hanuman Chalisa and ram-ram to make them listen. We are here to humbly request the honourable speaker to dismiss his orders, otherwise, we won't let the House function."
Calling the protest 'unnecessary', Congress MLA Rameshwar Oraon said, "The protest is unnecessary. A similar arrangement was there in the older Vidhan Sabha too, during the tenure of BJP. That time no one objected."
Further adding that a similar provision has been made in the Bihar Assembly by Nitish Kumar-led BJP government, he said, "No one is questioning Bihar. I would like to ask why are the BJP workers only objecting to it (room for Namaz) in Jharkhand only."
Reacting to a room for Hanuman Chalisa, Oraon said, "One does not need a dedicated time or place to recite Hanuman Chalisa; it can be done anywhere any time, unlike namaz. The Friday namaz is especially very important for Muslims. I do not see a need for objection here."
In an order issued on September 2, it was stated that room number TW 348, in the new Assembly building of Jharkhand, has been allotted to offer the Namaz, according to Jharkhand Legislative Assembly Secretariat.
Amid controversy, assembly speaker Ravindra Nath Mahato said that there is nothing new about it and there is a practice of adjourning the house half an hour before the usual time so that Muslim legislators can offer Friday prayers.
Speaking to reporters, Mahato said, "We respect everyone. This is a matter of faith. Why should we put a hindrance in it? And this is not a new thing. There's a practice in Assembly that the house is adjourned half an hour before to offer Friday prayers."
Mahato's remarks came a day after a separate room in the new Assembly building of Jharkhand to offer Namaz sparked controversy with the BJP demanding five rooms or a hall for Hindus to recite Hanuman Chalisa. (ANI)