In Sept 2020, Mohan Delkar told Lok Sabha about ‘misbehaviour by UT officials’

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Mohan Delkar, independent Lok Sabha MP from Dadra & Nagar Haveli, who allegedly died by suicide in a Mumbai hotel on February 22, had raised the issue of “misbehaviour” by officials of the local administration in the Union Territory “as part of a conspiracy” during the zero hour in the Parliament on September 19, 2020.

It came over two months after he put out a video threatening to resign over alleged harassment by local administration officials of the UT.

On July 5 last year, Delkar had put out a 24-minute video on his official Twitter handle where he had called the administration of the UT “sarmukhtyarshahi” (authoritarian) and said, “The people responsible for the state of affairs in this region (UT) be it administrative or police officials… whatever they have done, I have all their files, I have all the evidence.. I have lodged complaints (against them) and have all the documents… all those who are responsible and are compelling me to resign, I will name all those people, all officers… in the Lok Sabha. Let the people of the country, people in the Lok Sabha know why a seven-term MP, an independent MP, is resigning.”

Delkar, however, did not resign and instead, spoke in the Parliament about the alleged harassment. In the September-19 debate during the zero hour, Delkar, the lone independent MP from the Scheduled Tribe reserved seat of DNH, said, “One after another, in the last four months, as part of a conspiracy, officials have been taking actions with the aim of harassing and torturing me.”

On Monday, police found a 15-page suicide note written in Gujarati in two envelopes, naming senior politicians and bureaucrats.

The transcript of Delkar’s address in the Lok Sabha read, “In the last four months during the Covid pandemic, some officers harassed me and tried to fabricate cases against me in an attempt to humiliate me and restricted me from functioning as an MP, and thus stopped me from helping people during the corona pandemic.” He claimed that on the Liberation Day of the Union Territory, he was “denied the right to address the people of the region as an MP”, which had been a tradition for 35 years.

“When I asked why was my address cut out (from the itinerary), the deputy collector and others present at the programme misbehaved with me,” Delkar had told the Lok Sabha. Dadra & Nagar Haveli celebrates its Liberation Day on August 2 every year. Sources in the DNH administration told The Indian Express that owing to the Covid pandemic, it was a “small function” last year.

Delkar had also told Parliament that when some officials “‘misbehave with an MP and treat him with contempt, an example of which was the incident that happened with me, it proves that the behaviour of such officials not only dents the dignity of the Lok Sabha but also places democracy in danger, and, therefore, these incidents have to be taken seriously in the Parliament”.

Delkar was also a member of the consultative committee of the Ministry of Home Affairs, and of the standing committee on personnel, public grievances, law and justice.

On November 11, 2019, During the discussion on the bill proposing the merger of the union territories of Daman, Diu and Dadra & Nagar Haveli, Delkar had pushed for declaring the merged UTs as a state assembly on the lines of Puducherry. His proposal was seconded by the BJP MP from Daman & Diu, Lalubhai Patel.

Delkar had argued that both the UTs of Daman, Diu, Dadra and Nagar Haveli contributed an annual revenue of Rs 5 crore to the union government. “Looking at this, it has been the demand of the people of the two territories to have a state assembly. We are not asking for a large Vidhan Sabha. Pondicherry has got a Vidhan Sabha… A Vidhan Sabha of that scale be constituted in these union territories,” Delkar had said during the debate.

To support the demand, he quoted the recommendation of the standing committee of the home ministry constituted in 2014 under its then chairperson Venkaiah Naidu (now Vice-President), and had toured Dadra & Nagar Haveli. He said that the committee had tabled the report before the Rajya Sabha, which said, “The Committee find merit in the popular demand for creation of an assembly for the UTs and desired that the government of India may look into this matter on the line of Puducherry,” Delkar had quoted.

A huge crowd turned out in Silvassa on Tuesday during his cremation, even as the town shut down as a mark of respect.

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