Bhopal: Emphasising the impact of words, the BJP government in Madhya Pradesh has directed ministers to refrain from using certain terminology while drafting replies. The government has even listed examples - 34 of them - in a circular to help ministers structure their answers.
- The Madhya Pradesh government has listed 34 examples in a circular
- This has been done "to bring down number of assurances made in the house"
- The notification was issued over a month ago
Reason? To bring down the number of assurances made in the House, the circular said.
The notification, which was issued over a month ago, points out that proper structuring of replies and in-depth analysis of content of questions could help reduce the number of assurances made by the regime.
The ministers are being encouraged to stay alert, not make promises, and avoid saying, "we are inquiring into it", "the issue will be considered", "I'll look into it", "I'll write to the centre", "I'll see what I can do", "timely action will be taken", "I'll think about it", "We'll discuss the questions raised by the legislators" etc, as these are considered as assurances.
These suggestions are also to be kept in mind while replying to queries in mails as well as on online platforms.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Narottam Mishra said, "The objective is to avoid saying anything that could be interpreted as an assurance to the House."
Madhya Pradesh Assembly's Leader of the Opposition Ajay Singh, however, refused to buy the argument, and called it an attempt to weaken the Vidhan Sabha by the ruling party.
The order hurts the fundamental sentiment of the House, Mr Singh said.
"They are trying to restrict democratic institutions. As a result of this, no legislator will be able to get a proper answer from treasury benches, which is unfortunate," he added.
Responding to the opposition's criticism, Mr Mishra said, "We are not curbing the freedom of expression. It's surprising that those who imposed the Emergency are talking about the freedom of speech. The BJP can't even think of that."
Earlier, the Vidhan Sabha during the Budget Session last month had brought in certain provisions that curtailed the rights of legislators for moving no-confidence motion and demanding answers in cases pending before a committee formed by the House. However, the order was withdrawn following protests by the Opposition.