PATNA: Bihar Chief Minister Nitish Kumar gave valuable tips to legislators to equip them to effectively raise issues concerning the common man in the House, as the Bihar Assembly celebrates its 95th Foundation Day today.
Mr Kumar made several suggestions for better discharge of duty by the legislators while delivering the inaugural speech.
The Bihar Legislative Assembly had its first sitting on February 7, 1921, when the legislators from Bihar and Odisha had attended it.
Lawmakers from both the Houses in the state are attending the two-day function during which Constitution experts Subhas Kashyap and GC Mehrotra would also give them tips to improve their legislative performance.
The interactive session assumes significance in view of the fact that 98 legislators, including Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav and his brother Minister Tej Pratap Yadav, both sons of RJD chief Lalu Prasad, are first-timers in the 243-membered Assembly.
Inaugurating the function, the chief minister narrated his experience as a legislator and also as a Member of Parliament to motivate members, particularly the green horns.
Speaker Vijay Kumar Chaudhary, Chairperson of Legislative Council Awdesh Narayan Singh, Deputy Chief Minister Tejaswi Yadav, Leader of Opposition in Assembly Prem Kumar and Parliamentary Affairs minister Shrawan Kumar were present on the dais with the chief minister.
Mr Kumar first became legislator in 1985 from his home constituency of Harnaut in Nalanda district. Since then, he has been elected as Lok Sabha member from Barh and Nalanda six times and member of Legislative Council thrice, including the present tenure.
His current term is fifth as Bihar chief minister and he has also served as Railway, Agriculture and Surface Transport minister in the Atal Bihari Vajpayee-led NDA government.
Giving tips to the legislators, the chief minister said one should reach the House on time, should not hesitate to speak and be abreast with rules and regulations.
Remembering his early days, Mr Kumar said during his time as first-time legislator he and now senior RJD leader Jagdanand Singh used to come to Assembly on rickshaw and stay full time to take part in all proceedings.
Virtually turning a teacher, particularly to the newly-elected legislators, Mr Kumar said the important thing in the House is to catch attention of the Speaker by being to the point and relevant.
“It is generally said that besides ruling and Opposition parties in the House, there is a third one known as Speaker’s party. If you manage to create a good impression of yourself on the Speaker, it will help you get more opportunity to speak,” he said.
“I have benefited by doing this both in Assembly as well in Parliament,” he said.
Making some interesting observations, Mr Kumar said he loves interruptions by Opposition while he speaks in the House. “But, the interruption should be relevant and not ‘halla-gulla’ (unruly scene),” he said.
The chief minister appreciated Opposition leader Prem Kumar’s suggestion of prolonging the duration of sitting and suggested the House should sit from 11 am to 6 pm.
In the second session today, the legislators got tips from Constitution expert GC Malhotra on working procedure of the House.
Constitution expert Subhas Kashyap would deliver lecture to the legislators tomorrow about their privileges and also how to utilise Question Hour, Zero Hour and debating time in a better way.
Mr Kashyap served as Secretary General of the 7th, 8th and 9th Lok Sabha while GC Malhotra was Secretary General of 12th and 13th Lok Sabha.