Vidhan Sabha Winter Session begins
By ARUN PRATAP SINGH
DEHRADUN, 4 Dec: Congress legislators led by Leader of the Opposition Dr Indira Hridayesh, today, took on the state government over inflation and accused it of being insensitive to the sufferings of the poor. As soon as the House assembled for the first day of the Winter Session, the Leader of the Opposition stood and urged Speaker Prem Chand Aggarwal to suspend all the proceedings to discuss the issue of inflation, which she claimed had made the life of the poor very difficult. The Congress legislators had given a notice under Rule 310 of the Procedures of the Conduct of the Assembly (Related to suspension of business in order to discuss matters of immediate cause of concern) to discuss inflation.The Opposition members were also seen carrying placards that depicted food items such as milk products and some were even carrying garlands made of onions. Aggarwal reminded them that it was not in tune with the traditions of the House to bring placards and garlands into the House. He urged the opposition members to wait for Question Hour to be over and assured them that he would accept their notice for discussion on admissibility of Rule 58 (Related to adjournment of proceedings to discuss matters of urgent public importance). Although, Hridayesh pressed her demand for immediate discussion, Aggarwal did not budge and the Opposition members thereafter allowed the Question Hour to proceed. After Question Hour, the bills to be tabled by the government as per the agenda of the House proceedings were tabled and then the Speaker allowed the discussion on admissibility under Rule 58 regarding inflation. LoP Hridayesh said that the country was already facing huge recession and, now, the rising inflation had added to the woes of the poor people in the country. Prices of most food commodities had risen sharply in recent weeks and it had become beyond the means of the common man to eat healthy food. Prices of essential items such as sugar, milk, curd had also risen sharply. Pulses were selling much higher than Rs 100 per kg, which made it impossible for the poor to eat even “dal roti”, she asserted. Onions were selling at more than Rs 100 per kg and the common man could not even buy them. She claimed that, while the prices of all essential items including petrol and diesel were also rising, the state government could not care any less. Not a single measure was taken by the state government to curb inflation. She reminded that, during UPA rule, sugar and kerosene were available at PDS shops (Ration Shops), but the Modi Government had stopped sale of sugar and kerosene through the PDS and this added to the woes of the common man. As Opposition leaders, it was the responsibility of the Congress legislators to highlight the sufferings of the common person, she claimed. MLA and PCC Chief Pritam Singh also accused the state government of ignoring the woes of the common people and of being insensitive to the needs of the poor. He blamed demonetisation and GST for the inflation and claimed that 11 farmers had committed suicide recently while three traders had to commit suicide due to GST in Uttarakhand. In spite of this, the ministers were making insensitive remarks against those who had committed suicide. Singh added that unemployment was at its peak and, due to recession, many had lost their jobs and, under such circumstances, rising costs of essential items were only complicating the lives of the people. Several other Congress legislators also spoke in similar manner to highlight the inflation and blamed the government for being “insensitive” towards the poor. Responding to the charges, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Madan Kaushik claimed that the government was vigilant and was taking steps to check inflation. The prices of most edible items were under control but prices of some items had risen due to seasonal fluctuations, he asserted.