By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 19 Dec: Congress leaders and workers today staged a protest at Gandhi Park here against short duration of the upcoming assembly session. The dharna was led by former national secretary of Congress Prakash Joshi. During the dharna, the Congress members also staged a dummy assembly session to mock at the government for “shying away from holding a long session of the house from 21 December onwards. In this drama, Congress members played various roles of ministers as well as the opposition leaders. While Jayendra Ramola played the role of Speaker Prem Chand Aggarwal, Rakesh Negi played the role of Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat. Anil Bhaskar played the role of Parliamentary Affairs Minister Madan Kaushik who was seen responding to the allegations levelled by the opposition members. Jot Singh Bist played the role of Govind Singh Kunjwal and AICC member Garima Dasauni played the role of the leader of the opposition Indira Hridayesh. Sangram Singh Pundir played the role of Congress MLA Harish Dhami. In the drama enacted by the Congress workers, the opposition members were seen often entering the well of the house not satisfied with the responses of the parliamentary affairs minister. They were also seen being evicted from the House by the marshals of the House.
Speaking to the media persons on the occasion, Dasauni reminded that as per the rules of the state assembly, the house proceedings ought to be conducted for at least 60 days in a year. However, she completely forgot to admit that the assembly in the state had never functioned for 60 days or more even once in past 20 years irrespective of the fact which party was in power.
She added that the duration of the state assembly sessions were getting shorter ever since the BJP assumed power in Uttarakhand in the year 2017. Dasauni said that in the year 2017, 3 sessions were held for only 17 days, in 2018 3 sessions were only for 18 days, in 2019, 3 sessions were only for 22 days and in the year 2020, only 2 sessions were held so far only for 6 days. She said that the government did not have time to discuss the burning issues of the state. There were 70 legislatures in the state and under Rule 58, a maximum of 5 questions can be taken up in a day, so how could the problems of 70 legislatures be raised.
Dasauni further claimed that a short session of only 3 days period was a betrayal of the mandate given by the people of the state to the BJP. During the protest, the Congress workers gathered at the Gandhi Park demanded that every session be conducted for at least 15 to 20 days in the interest of the state.
It is another matter though, that few starred questions have come in the house in past two years from the Opposition members. This situation was exploited often by the members of the treasury benches who took this opportunity to raise their issues as well as to taken on the government of their own party on certain issues. It has often been seen that the opposition members too want the session to be curtailed and often wish the session to conclude by Friday to allow them to go back to their constituencies. In addition, Congress members have also been seen coming unprepared to participate in debates and discussions on serious issues such as budget and try to make up for their lack of preparation by rushing to the podium and raising the slogans leading to adjournments. Such a behaviour actually facilitates the government and it gets away lightly in the House without being pulled up over its faults.
Those who participated in the protest included former National Secretary of Congress Prakash Joshi, former MLA Ganesh Godiyal, State Vice President Jot Singh Bisht, Rajpal Bisht, Sumitar Bhullar, Sangram Pundir, Jayendra Ramola, Mohit Uniyal, Naveen Ramola, Urmila Thapa, Shanti Rawat, Garima Dasauni, Amarjit Singh, Rakesh Negi, Vikas Negi, Anil Bhaskar, Suleman Ali, Bhupendra Negi, Kavindra Istwal, Mohan Kala, Karthik Chadna, Sudhir Sunhera, Ajay Rawat, Udayveer Pundir, Sudhir Shandilya, Sumit Chaudhary, Rajvir Chaudhan and Himanshu Bahuguna.