MP assembly: Congress MLAs stage walkout against BBC censure motion

03:49 PM Mar 14, 2023 | PTI |

Congress MLAs on Tuesday walked out opposing a censure motion that the Madhya Pradesh assembly passed against the BBC for allegedly showing Prime Minister Narendra Modi in a bad light in its documentary on the 2002 Gujarat riots. The House on Monday passed the censure motion against the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) after it was introduced as a private member resolution. It came days after the Gujarat assembly passed a resolution requesting the Centre to take strict action against BBC for “tarnishing the image and popularity of PM Modi”.


As the house convened on Tuesday, Leader of Opposition Dr Govind Singh quoted news articles saying it was reported that the censure motion was approved ”unanimously” by the House, though the Congress had not supported it.

It is incorrect to say that the motion was approved unanimously as it was brought during “Zero Hour’ without prior notice, Singh said. Also, the motion was not brought before the House business committee for discussion, which he said was against democratic norms.

The Opposition leader said that the Congress legislature party was opposing this censure motion.

Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Narottam Mishra, however, countered the charge saying most of the Congress MLAs, except for the party’s state chief Kamal Nath, were present when the motion against BBC was passed in the House. But the leader of opposition didn’t speak then, he said. Dr Singh claimed that he had opposed the censure motion at the time but it was not recorded. Some Congress MLAs, including Sajjan Singh Verma, also started speaking about the resolution related to the BBC documentary. With several members speaking together, the leader of the opposition announced that the Congress legislature party was staging a walkout against the motion. As the Congress members walked out, Speaker Girish Gautam clarified that the censure motion against BBC was passed with a voice vote and not “unanimously”. On Monday, the motion against the UK broadcaster was introduced as a private member resolution moved by ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) MLA Shailendra Jain and seconded by minister Narottam Mishra.


Before the motion was passed by voice vote, MLA Jain said the BBC had telecast an objectionable documentary by misinterpreting the 2002 Gujarat riots and portrayed then chief minister Narendra Modi in a bad light.

He said the documentary had also cast aspersions on the country’s judiciary which amounts to contempt of court and added that the judiciary works independently and freely in India.

Jain said the Central government should take action against the broadcaster.

The speaker placed the resolution to test which was passed by a voice vote.

The Gujarat assembly had on Friday passed a resolution requesting the Centre to take strict action against BBC for “tarnishing the image and popularity of PM Modi with the documentary”.

A censure motion is an expression of strong disapproval. In Parliamentary procedure, it is a debatable main motion that could be adopted by a majority vote.

The MP assembly has 230 members – 96 from the Congress and 127 from BJP besides four independents, two of BSP and one SP.


Udayavani is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel and stay updated with the latest news.