Stormy winter session likely; supplementary budget to be tabled today
By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 28 Nov: The winter session of the Uttarakhand Assembly begins tomorrow. The session is likely to be stormy with Congress members planning to attack the BJP Government and the party on several major issues. They do have several major issues in hand this time and it remains to be seen how the ruling party counters the attacks. Sources in the Congress Legislative party have indicated that the party leaders are planning to raise issues like the Ankita Bhandari murder case, the general law and order situation, scams related to recruitments conducted chiefly by Uttarakhand Subordinate Services Selection Commission (UKSSSC) and that conducted by GB Pant University of Agriculture and Technology (GBPUAT). Sources, however, conceded that the Congress legislators are not united on raising the issue of irregular appointments by various speakers to the Assembly Secretariat in the state. It may be recalled that Leader of the Opposition Yashpal Arya was Speaker for 5 years when the Congress Government led by ND Tiwari was in power and irregular appointments were made in even during this period.
It is also after a while that the session may continue for a week or more. So far, the GO issued by the Assembly Secretary (Officiating) mentions that the session will be held between 29 November and 5 December.
An all party meeting was held with Speaker Ritu Khanduri Bhushan in the chair, today, on the upcoming assembly session. Later, a meeting of the Business Advisory Committee was also held and the agenda was approved for tomorrow’s sitting in the House by the Committee.
Later, speaking with media persons, Bhushan disclosed that the supplementary budget would be tabled tomorrow at 4 p.m. during the post lunch sitting of the House. She added that one ordinance, 6 government bills and one private bill would also be tabled in the House.
She revealed that she had appealed to the members to put forward their views in the House in a dignified manner to maintain decorum.
It may be recalled that, according to government sources, a supplementary budget of Rs 4864 crores is likely to be tabled in the House tomorrow.
In response to a question by media persons, Speaker Ritu Khanduri Bhushan said that a permanent secretary to the Assembly would be appointed before the next Assembly Session. The question was asked in view of the fact that Assembly Secretary Mukesh Singhal is presently under suspension and is facing the charge of having a role in backdoor irregular appointments in the Assembly Secretariat, besides the fact that he had secured several promotions in the course of two years in an irregular manner.
Bhushan added that an explanation has been sought from Singhal on the charges he is facing but he has sought more time to respond. Further action would be taken on receipt of his response.
Speaking to the media persons, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Prem Chand Aggarwal confirmed that the supplementary budget would be tabled tomorrow on the first day of the session in order to ensure that the departments facing lack of budget could soon be issued funds to continue further work. He also claimed that the Opposition members would be given sufficient time and opportunity to keep their views in the House but they are in the habit of creating uproar and disorder inside the House instead of participating in the debates and discussions on various issues.
On the other hand, speaking to the media persons, Leader of the Opposition Yashpal Arya stated that the session is likely to last till 5 December but there is a need for a longer one. He conceded that the demands on grants (Supplementary budget) did not warrant a detailed discussion but there were several issues that needed longer time for discussion and it remained to be seen if the government is actually willing to hold detailed discussion on topics like poor law and order situation or the huge scams related to the appointments made by the government in past few years. Besides there were also issues like inflation, unemployment and the natural disasters to be discussed in the coming session and he demanded that sufficient time be allotted to each of these topics.
As many as 524 questions have been submitted by the members for the session.