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Probe demanded in taxi operators` protest over MLA`s statement

Last Updated: Monday, April 15, 2013 - 15:55

Panaji: Taking serious note of the incident of tourist taxi operators allegedly storming into the office of an MLA over his statement in the House, the Goa Assembly Speaker on Monday demanded a probe into it and said the matter will be handed over to the Privilege Committee.

Around 200 taxi drivers with their vehicles had stormed into the office of independent MLA Rohan Khaunte in his Porvorim constituency on Saturday, protesting his statement wherein he had allegedly asked to tighten noose around the taxi operators who were charging unjustified fares.

Assembly Speaker Rajendra Arlekar termed the entire issue as "serious" and said he will hand it over to the Privilege Committee of the House.

The House also asked the state government to order an inquiry into the episode.

Arlekar ruled on the floor of the House that members of the Assembly have all the right to express their views.

"It is absolutely wrong, if someone is misinterpreting the statements outside the House," he said.

He asked the state government to investigate the episode and present the report. "I will refer the report to privilege committee," the Speaker said.

Raising the issue, Khaunte claimed that some of his statements which he made during the demands on Transport department were mis-reported by some media. "The issue was discussed in the House. Can the taxi operators question me outside?" the legislator questioned.

Another legislator, Vishnu Wagh, said that the legislators were getting threatening calls because they raised the issue on the floor of the House.

Chief Minister Manohar Parrikar said that he has already asked police to investigate the episode. "This is seriously breach of privilege. Any method to pressurise an MLA is not acceptable," he said.

Leader of Opposition Pratapsingh Rane termed the matter as serious. "The constitution empowers the members to express their views," he said, demanding that the taxi operators should be warned by summoning them in the House.

Rane also stated that they should be put behind bars for such an act.


First Published: Monday, April 15, 2013 - 15:55
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