Speaker of the Goa Legislative Assembly Rajendra Arlekar on the first day of the six-day Legislative Assembly session, referred to the Privileges Committee of the House a matter pertaining to comments about the question hour in the local media by Congress Legislator Aleixo Reginald Lourenco, indicating that the Speaker was biased.
The Congress legislators had been protesting and voicing their resentment about a decision of the Business Advisory Committee to restrict the number of starred questions in the Assembly to three and unstarred questions to 15 every day to each MLA.
An agitated Mr. Arlekar, immediately after the question hour on Wednesday took serious note of the allegations voiced through media and sought explanation from the Member regarding the statement, asking him whether it was true or false and asked him to apologise to the House if it was true.
“If you do not apologise, I will refer the matter to the Privileges Committee,” warned the Speaker.
Mr. Lourenco tried to explain to the Speaker how the media sometimes asks tricky questions to which straight answers are difficult to give, but the Speaker was in no mood to listen to vague explanations.
When the MLA sought time to give his explanation in writing, Mr. Arlekar promptly referred the matter to the privileges committee.
He also reminded the members that he had cautioned the members in the past about such behaviour, making special reference to Fatorda Independent MLA Vijay Sardesai for similar remarks.
“The person sitting in this chair is not Arlekar, but it is the chair that all the members should respect,” he said, justifying his stern stand.
The person sitting in this chair is not Arlekar, but it is the chair all the members should respect
Goa Legislative Assembly Speaker