Delhi Assembly session extended, Speaker asks officials to furnish replies

New Delhi, June 7 (IANS) Speaker Ram Niwas Goel on Thursday extended till Monday the Delhi Assembly session and directed senior officers to furnish replies to written questions from MLAs now on June 11, saying he is “feeling helpless” sitting in the chair.

Goel directed the Principal Secretaries of Education, Revenue and Power departments to provide on Monday the answers to three written questions submitted on Wednesday by MLAs.

He also warned the officers of strict action if they failed to do as directed.

The three Principal Secretaries were present in the House on Thursday, as directed by the Speaker on Wednesday. Goel had earlier asked them to provide answers on Thursday.

“I am feeling very helpless sitting in this chair. I have been part of this Assembly before also, but haven’t seen such a thing ever. The Ministers are asking for answers and even then they are not getting the replies.

“On Monday, the answers should be given to the House. If the answers are not given, I will take strict action against officials as per the rules,” he said.

The three-day Assembly session started on Wednesday and was earlier scheduled to conclude on Friday.

As the Assembly proceedings began, MLAs complained that officers had not been provided proper answers to their questions.

Deputy Chief Minister Manish Sisodia said that the Centre, with the help of these officers, was “trying to weaken the democratic system”.

Calling Education a transfer subject, Sisodia said: “It is being done to imply dictatorship in the country. The Centre is misusing institutions. What are they trying to hide by not providing the answers?”

He said that questions on similar issues were asked before also. “Is there a new Constitution in the country now?”

It is not the first time that Delhi officers have refused to give written answers to Assembly questions.

During the Assembly’s Budget session in March, the Speaker had said that the Lt Governor had informed that the presiding officer could not accept any questions on reserved subjects like land, law and services.

One of the questions for which written answer was not provided pertained to vacant posts in the Education Department.

The appointment of officers comes under the ambit of Services Department, which is a reserved subject.

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