Rajya Sabha MP Kapil Sibal criticised the BJP on Sunday for boycotting the oath-taking ceremony of newly-elected legislators in Telangana. The protest was led by the BJP MLAs who objected to the appointment of AIMIM's Akbaruddin Owaisi as the pro-tem speaker, alleging a violation of rules.
The first session of the third Telangana Legislative Assembly commenced on Saturday with the customary oath-taking ceremony. However, BJP MLAs chose to stay away from the House, expressing their discontent over Owaisi's appointment.
In response to this move, Kapil Sibal took to X to share his views. He stated, "Telangana, Protem Speaker Akbaruddin Owaisi—8 BJP MLAs boycott oath. Such a public expression of hate makes me wonder where my country is heading!"
"Is this the Mother of Democracy we publicly proclaim to be!" the former Union minister said.
Why did the BJP boycott the oath-taking ceremony of Owaisi?
Telangana Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan administered the oath to All India Majlis-E-Ittehadul Muslimeen (AIMIM) MLA Akbaruddin Owaisi as a pro tem Speaker on Saturday.
In a video message, BJP MLA-elect from Goshamahal, Raja Singh, explained their decision not to participate in the ceremony with Owaisi presiding. Singh cited Owaisi's past anti-Hindu remarks as the primary reason, declaring that he would not take the oath in front of someone who had made such comments.
Telangana BJP President G Kishan Reddy supported the move, stating, "There is a tradition of a senior person being appointed as the pro-tem Speaker in the Assembly. The BJP opposes the appointment of AIMIM's Akbaruddin Owaisi as pro-tem Speaker as per an understanding (of Congress) with AIMIM."
Who is a protem speaker?
Pro-tem Speaker is a temporary speaker appointed for a limited time period to conduct proceedings in Parliament or State legislatures. A pro-tem Speaker is ordinarily elected for the first sitting of a new legislative assembly where the Speaker is yet to be elected.