U’khand Vidhan Sabha Winter Session begins
By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 21 Dec: The Government today tabled the Supplementary Budget for the current financial year to the tune of Rs 4063.79 crore in the House on the first day of the winter session of the state assembly. Although, in the case of the death of a sitting member of the House since the last assembly session, the House is usually adjourned for the day, this was not done today. In spite of not having the Question Hour and the Zero Hour for the same reason, the government today chose to table the supplementary budget immediately after tributes were paid to late Surendra Singh Jeena, Anusuya Prasad Maikhuri (former MLA and former Deputy Speaker of the House), Sunderlal Manderwal, Tejpal Singh Panwar and KC Punetha and then only was the House adjourned for the day!
This probably indicates that the government tabled the Supplementary budget so that it could be passed tomorrow and it would not be forced to extend the session beyond 3 days as had been proposed. Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, suffering from Covid-19 infection, too, participated in the session via virtual mode. In fact, the opposition members accused the government of not following the ‘long established’ tradition of adjourning the House immediately after the tributes were paid to the sitting and former members of the House who had passed away since the last session. Among the sitting members, BJP Member and very active member of the House, Surendra Singh Jeena had passed away due to Covid on 12 November this year. Among the former members, Anusuya Prasad Maikhuri, former Deputy Speaker of the House, and former members Sunderlal Mandarwal, Tejpal Singh Panwar and KC Punetha had also passed away since the last session.
Participating virtually in the session of the House, Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat paid tribute to Surendra Singh Jeena, KC Punetha, Sundarlal Mandarwal, Anusuya Prasad Makhuri and Tejpal Singh Panwar. Chief Minister, while remembering the late Surendra Singh Jeena, said that Jeena was a young, hard working and energetic MLA. He had his own way of greeting everyone. He added that all were saddened by his untimely departure and his demise was a great loss for the stae. Paying tribute to former MLA, the late KC Punetha, the Chief Minister said he was a very humble person but was always eager to struggle for the public cause. Recalling the former Assembly Deputy Speaker, the late Anusuya Prasad Makhuri, the Chief Minister said that he was extremely humble and gentle. The Chief Minister said that, during an agitation in the year 2002-03, when he (Rawat) suffered a serious injury, Makhuri had asked him to hold his hand and got him to the hospital. Former MLA Late Sundarlal Mandarwal was a Gandhian and truly a humble and simple person, Rawat recalled. The Chief Minister said that former MLA, the late Tejpal Singh Panwar used to talk in a straightforward manner and never resorted to deception. Leader of the Opposition Dr Indira Hridayesh said that Jeena was a promising young leader and much was expected of him and the state had suffered a huge loss due to his untimely demise.
Among others who paid their tributes to Jeena and other four former members of the House included Speaker Prem Chand Aggarwal, Deputy Speaker Raghunath Singh, ministers Satpal Maharaj, Madan Kaushik, Yashpal Arya, Harak Singh Rawat and Subodh Uniyal, as also members Ganesh Joshi, Kedar Singh, Qazi Nizamuddin, Bishan Singh Chufal, Ramsingh Kaira, Vinod Kandari, Chandran Ram Das, Surendra Singh Negi, Rajkumar, Dilip Singh Rawat, Harbans Kapoor, Khajan Das, Ritu Khanduri, Naveen Dumka, Puran Singh Fartyal and Mamta Rakesh. Qazi Nizamuddin remembered Jeena for his wit and humour inside the House. The members also wanted all help to be extended to Jeena’s young children who had lost both their parents due to Covid-19.
In conversation with reporters after the House was adjourned for the day, Deputy Leader of the Opposition Karan Mahra and Congress MLA Qazi Nizamuddin referred to the statement made by ruling party MLA Puran Singh Fartyal in the House. Fartyal had claimed that MLA Jeena’s final corona report was negative and despite this the government did not conduct his funeral with state honours. He said that it was a tradition in the state legislatures to suspend the proceedings of the House as a mark of respect and mourning after the death of a sitting member of the House. The government however did not follow it. Tabling the supplementary budget after the direction of demise was uncalled for exercise by the government, they claimed.
The Supplementary budget presented today by the Parliamentary Affairs Minister Madan Kaushik earmarks Rs 2,071.42 crore for revenue expenditure and Rs 1,992.37 crore for the capital expenditure. Tabling the budget, Kaushik said that the government had proposed the highest allocation of Rs 2,293.30 crore for centrally assisted schemes followed by Rs 641 crore for disaster management, Rs 500 crore for the Pradhan Mantri Gram Sadak Yojana and Rs 200 crore for the forthcoming Kumbh Mela in Haridwar.