T Raja Singh, Telangana BJP MLA, on Sunday he will not take oath in front of AIMIM legislator Mumtaz Ahmed Khan, who would be acting as pro-tem Speaker, because the AIMIM "speaks against Hindus". "I don't want to take oath in front of a pro-tem speaker whose party wants to vanish Hindus. They never sing Vande Mataram and never say Bharat Mata ki Jai," news agency ANI quoted Singh as saying. MLAs would be taking oath on January 17, first day of the new Assembly's first session following the elections.
In a video message, Singh, legislator from Goshamahal, demanded that Chief Minister K Chandrasekhar Rao review the decision to appoint Khan, a senior All India Majlis-e-Ittehadul Muslimeen leader, as pro-tem speaker.
"Telangana chief minister who is a follower of Nizam (the erstwhile ruler of Hyderabad state) and MIM took a decision at night to make an MIM MLA pro-tem speaker...I will not go to the assembly and take oath in his presence. Other party leaders may go but I will not," Singh said.
News agency PTI reported that Singh will consult legal experts on rules regarding oath-taking.
Singh has been booked by the police in several cases including for delivering a hate speech and attacking a police constable while discharging his duty. Singh sparked a controversy once again on July 30, 2018 when he declared that he would shoot Bangladeshis living illegally in Assam if they did not leave.
The first session of the newly-elected Assembly will be held from January 17 to 20. On January 16, Khan would take oath as pro-tem speaker at Raj Bhavan.
When contacted, a spokesperson of the AIMIM said the party did not want to react to Singh's statement.
On Saturday, Chandrasekhar Rao said it has been decided to commence the Assembly proceedings on January 17, during the 'Uttarayana' days, considered auspicious. The chief minister, who is allegedly a superstitious person, said the Assembly session will begin on 'Ekadasi' and continue till January 20.
Khan is the senior most member of the Assembly and will take oath as pro-tem Speaker on January 16.
(With agency inputs)