Kapil Sibal slams BJP for boycotting Telangana MLAs’ oath-taking presided over by pro-tem Speaker

The first session of the third Telangana Legislative Assembly began on 9 December with the oath-taking ceremony of the newly-elected MLAs.

BySouth First Desk

Published Dec 10, 2023 | 5:05 PMUpdated Dec 10, 2023 | 5:05 PM

Kapil Sibal slams BJP for boycotting Telangana MLAs’ oath-taking presided over by pro-tem Speaker

Rajya Sabha member Kapil Sibal slammed the BJP on Sunday, 10 December, after its MLAs boycotted the oath-taking ceremony of the newly-elected legislators in Telangana over AIMIM’s Akbaruddin Owaisi being made pro-tem Speaker, saying such “public expression of hate” makes him wonder where the country is heading.

The first session of the third Telangana Legislative Assembly began on Saturday with the oath-taking ceremony of the newly-elected MLAs.

The BJP MLAs, however, stayed away from the House, alleging that AIMIM MLA Owaisi was appointed as pro-tem speaker in violation of the rules.

Related: Raja Singh says he will not take oath if Owaisi is pro-tem Speaker

Where is my country heading?

In a post on X, Sibal said, “Telangana, Protem Speaker Akbaruddin Owaisi — 8 BJP MLAs boycott oath. Such 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.

Before the commencement of the Telangana Assembly session, Owaisi was administered the oath by Governor Tamilisai Soundararajan as the pro-tem Speaker at the Raj Bhavan and he presided over the proceedings in the House.

Union Minister and the BJP’s Telangana unit chief G Kishan Reddy has alleged that Owaisi was appointed as a pro-tem Speaker though there were other senior members in the House.

Related: Akbaruddin Owaisi sworn-in as Telangana Assembly’s pro-tem Speaker

The BJP claims

Goshamahal MLA-elect T Raja Singh said on 8 December that BJP MLAs would refrain from taking the oath of office if AIMIM leader Akbaruddin Owaisi was the pro-tem Speaker.

Using derogatory language against Owaisi, Singh questioned the Congress’ intentions and accused it of trying to win the support of the minorities. Eight members from the BJP were to take oath before the pro-tem Speaker on Saturday.

“The illegitimate child of Qasim Razvi, Akbaruddin Owaisi, will be the pro-tem Speaker of the Telangana Assembly tomorrow. As long as I live, I will not take oath in front of the AIMIM,” said Singh.

“The Congress has issued a special government order stating that everyone will take oath in front of Akbaruddin Owaisi, whom it refers to as the illegitimate child of Qasim Razvi. I held the same stance in 2018, refraining from taking an oath in front of an AIMIM leader, and I will maintain that decision now,” Singh said.

He accused the Congress and Chief Minister A Revanth Reddy of toeing the BRS line.

Raising doubts over the Congress’ alignment with the AIMIM, he accused Reddy of trying to curry favour with the minorities by appointing Owaisi as the pro-tem speaker. He asserted that none of them would take the oath in front of the AIMIM leader, and instead, they would do so on the second day, after the Assembly elects the Speaker.

In 2018, when the Assembly proceedings commenced, Charminar MLA Mumtaz Ahmed Khan was elected as the pro-tem speaker. Even then, the sole BJP MLA, Singh, refrained from taking the oath. He took the oath the next day after Pocharam Srinivas Reddy took charge as the Speaker.

(With PTI inputs)