New Delhi: Senior Uttar Pradesh bureaucrat Anoop Mishra on Monday took over as Lok Sabha Secretary General, amidst protest by Congress which contended that due procedure was not followed as the largest opposition party was not consulted.
The announcement of 59-year-old Mishra's appointment was made by Speaker Sumitra Mahajan.
Immediately, Leader of the Congress Mallikarjun Kharge rose to object the manner in which Mishra was appointed.
Kharge argued that he was not questioning the appointment made by Speaker, but was only contending that due procedure of consulting the opposition was not followed.
As there is no recognised Leader of the Opposition, she may not have consulted him regarding the appointment, he said.
But at the same time, he pointed out that government was amending laws to include leader of largest opposition party in appointment process of officials like the CBI chief in the absence of a recognised Leader of the Opposition.
Kharge also wondered whether no official of the Lok Sabha secretariat was capable of taking over as the Secretary General as a UP cadre IAS officer was appointed to the post.
The Speaker said his appointment was her decision and she was willing to discuss the matter with Kharge in her chamber and the House was not the forum to discuss the issue.
"I may be less knowledgeable than you, but I have also read some rules," the Speaker said.
The issue led to a brief war of words between opposition and treasury benches.
Mishra, former Chief Secretary of Uttar Pradesh, was currently serving as Secretary, Transport Department, in the state. He succeeds PK Grover, who superannuated.