STATE TIMES NEWS
JAMMU: Opposition members in Jammu and Kashmir Assembly and Legislative Council on Tuesday raised slogans against the Speaker and the Chairman for taking part in a dinner meeting of the PDP-BJP coalition government, disrupting the proceedings in both Houses.
As the Assembly met for the day, all opposition members stood up and raised the issue of Speaker Kavinder Gupta taking part in the dinner meeting hosted by Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti last week and alleged that he had lowered the sanctity of the House.
They resorted to protests over the issue and sought reply from the Speaker.
The members walked into the Well of the House and created ruckus amid high-pitched noisy scenes and disrupted the Question Hour.
In the Legislative Council too, opposition NC and Congress members staged a walkout from the House over the Chairman attending the dinner meeting.
Leader of Congress Legislative Party Nawang Rigzin Jora said in Assembly, “You (Speaker) are not the Speaker of the government or the BJP but of the entire House. You should not have taken part in the meeting of the coalition government. We want your reply.”
He was seconded by CPI(M) MLA M Y Tarigami.
“It is not a simple issue which can be brushed aside. It is the issue involved with sanctity of the House…It should not be compromised,” Tarigami said.
NC MLA Mubarak Gul, who was the Speaker during the previous Congress-NC rule, said the sanctity of the House had been compromised.
NC MLA Ali Mohammad Sagar said, “It is unprecedented.
This has not happened in the past.”
After over half-an-hour of protests and sloganeering, the Speaker replied to the opposition and said that he had taken part in the dinner and if it was wrong, he would not repeat it. With this, the House was restored to calm and the Question Hour began.
Opposition members also walked into well of the Legislative Council and raised slogans against the Chairman.
After noisy protests and sloganeering, Minister Naeem Akhtar intervened and urged Chairman Haji Anayat Ali to reply to the opposition to end the stalemate.
Ali said he had gone there not to take part in the meeting, but to meet Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti over an invitation to take part in an event to mark the death anniversary of former Chief Minister Mufti Mohd Sayeed.
So there was no question of compromising sanctity of the House, Ali said.
Not satisfied with the reply, NC and Congress members staged a walkout from the House. The Chairman later requested the opposition members to come back to their seats and they came back. The Chairman later said that he would not take part in any such meeting in the future.
In the Legislative Assembly, the opposition National Conference and Congress members staged a walkout in protest against worsening power scenario in the state, and cornered Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh for his failure to reply to their queries.
The Deputy Chief Minister was replying to a question of Hakeem Mohammad Yaseen on providing uninterrupted power supply to consumers during the Question Hour, when the members of the opposition National Conference and Congress stood up and raised the issue of worsening power scenario in the state.
The opposition members sought reply from the Deputy Chief Minister and protested against the government for its failure to ensure uninterrupted power supply.
Several NC and Congress members walked into the well of the House and some of them tore question papers and threw these at the well, seeking time to pose supplementary questions to the Deputy Chief Minister, who also holds the charge of the power ministry.
Around a dozen legislators asked supplementary questions to the deputy chief minister.
Speaker Kavinder Gupta tried to intervene by asking members that only three supplementary questions can be asked for a single question.
Minister Rehman Veeri also intervened and asked the members to allow the Deputy Chief Minister to reply to their supplementary questions.
The Deputy Chief Minister said that the scarcity of power was a result of 70 years of bad planning. He held the previous governments responsible and added that the present dispensation was trying to fix the problem.
His remarks drew angry retort from NC legislators including Devender Rana and Congress MLAs Nawang Rigzin Jora and G M Saroori.
“The Deputy Chief Minister is heading the department for the past three years but has done nothing on the ground,” Saroori said.
“There will be better power supply in 2018,” the Deputy Chief Minister responded.
Later, NC and Congress members Majid Larmi, Waqer Rasool, Ishfaq Jabbar and Altaf Kallo staged a walkout from the House after they were not allowed by the Speaker to pose supplementary questions.
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© 2017 State Times Daily Newspaper