Mumbai: Peasants and Workers Party (PWP) MLC Jayant Patil created a flutter in the Legislative Council on Friday by demanding that police at the entrance of the state Legislature and inside its campus should salute all the MLAs and MLCs.
Raising the issue under the Point of Propriety, he said, "When we are entering the Legislature building, we see the police personnel are busy talking on their cell phones. I have never seen anything of this sort happen anywhere from the 40-45 Parliaments (in the world) that I have visited."
"All the police personnel at the gate and inside the premises of the state Legislature should salute not only the ministers, but also the MLAs and MLCs because we are the law makers," he added.
He further demanded that a meeting, in the presence of Chairman Ramraje Nimbalkar should be called with all the Group leaders of political parties and the police commissioner (Mumbai) too should be summoned for the meeting.
"A decision on this should be taken as soon as possible," he said. Nimbalkar agreed to Patil's demands and instructed that a meeting be called on Tuesday on the issue.
Commenting on the issue Lok Bharati President and MLC Kapil Patil said VIP culture needs to end and that the law makers are meant to serve people.
"There is no need for any salute. I don't even put a badge so that my identity is not revealed. We are the representatives of people," Kapil Patil said.
"I am completely against VIP culture. We are here to serve people. If it is about mutual respect between us and police officials, it is fine. But I do not believe in this salute culture," he said.
Congress MLC Anant Gadgil said that he does not support Patil's stand but added that cops should not only respect their seniors but law makers as well.
"Patil's statement is a question of individual perception. I am not saying I support him but there is a point in what he said. Tendency of cops is to respect their bosses and bureaucrats while ignoring MLAs and MLCs. They should respect us as well," he said.