Bihar: NDA complain that Governor withholding bills

Patna: Ruling NDA members on Monday raised the issue of Bihar Governor Devanand Konwar reportedly withholding Bihar University and Patna University (Amendments) Bill 2010, making amendments to previous act seeking to curtail certain sweeping powers of chancellor in running universities.

Konwar in his capacity of Governor is also Chancellor of Universities in Bihar.

The bill was already passed by both houses of the state legislature.

Senior BJP MLA Amrendra Pratap Singh raised the issue through a special reference in the House.

He informed the House that the bill had already been passed by it on March 26, 2010 but it remained withheld in the Governor's secretariat since then.

Singh further said the withholding of the bills was against the 'prestige' of the House.

"Whether it is a money bill or treated otherwise is the sole discretion of the Speaker and withholding the bills by the Governor's Secretariat is a matter of concern for the parliamentary system," Singh said.

Ruling JD(U) member Usha Srivastava too supported Singh and wanted the ruling of the Chair. BJP member Vinod Narayan Jha alleged that the Governor's Secretariat withholding the bill is an encroachment of the rights of the House and if the practice persists it will weaken Legislative powers.

Speaker U N Choudhary said he would personally look into the matter.

Leader of the Opposition Abdul Bari Siddiqui said any attempt to bring the Speaker and Raj Bhavan on a collision course was "not good for parliamentary democracy" and the matter be resolved by the office of the Speaker and the Governor's Secretariat.

According to HRD sources, the bill seeks to make amendments to the previous act seeking to curtail some sweeping powers of the Chancellor. The bill also seeks to lay down a criteria about the appointments of law officers of the Universities.