By Arun Pratap Singh
Dehradun, 23 Sep: As expected, the one day Monsoon Session of the Uttarakhand Assembly turned out to be very ‘eventful’ with the Congress members creating pandemonium, even breaking the glass shield on the table of the Speaker, leading to adjournment of the House for a while. On the other hand, several bills were tabled and passed. Later, the House was adjourned sine die.
As soon as the House gathered for the pre-lunch sitting, the ministers and legislators paid tribute to former President, the late Pranab Mukherjee, former MLAs, the late Brijmohan Kotwal and the late Narayan Singh Bhainsola, who all passed away after the last session of the state assembly. Following this, the proceedings of the House started. The Question Hour had been suspended in view of the Corona pandemic.
Congress member Govind Singh Kunjwal demanded an immediate discussion on the Corona situation in the state under Rule 310. However, the Deputy Speaker of the House, Raghunath Singh Chauhan, who was chairing the session, did not allow it. Thereafter, all the Congress members who were present in the House rushed to the Well and created a ruckus. They rushed towards the Speaker’s podium and tore up the copies of the agenda, even broke the newly installed glass shield in view of the Corona pandemic in front of the Speaker. Parliamentary Affairs Minister Madan Kaushik said that the proceedings ought to go on as per the agenda of the House and reminded the Opposition members that their own senior leaders Govind Singh Kunjwal and Karan Singh Mahra had agreed to the agenda during the meeting of the Business Advisory Committee. However, the Congress members paid no heed to what Kaushik said. They said that over 500 persons had died due to Corona in the state and nothing else could be more important or worthy of the attention of the House than this issue.
At the same time, BJP MLA from Lohaghat, Puran Singh Fartyal, who currently has some issues with the government of his own party, too, moved an application under Rule 58 demanding immediate discussion on irregularities in the tender issued for the Tanakpur-Jauljibi Motor Road. He claimed that the tender had been awarded on the basis of some fake certificates. Some Congress members also supported his motion and commented that this tendering incident was enough to expose the government’s claims of zero tolerance towards corruption. When order in the House could not be restored despite continuous appeals by the Deputy Speaker Chauhan, he adjourned the House till 1 p.m.
When the House reassembled, as many as 19 bills were tabled by the government and passed by voice vote. Some other important reports were also tabled in the House during the sitting, including the CAG Report for the year 2018-19. Among the other reports tabled included Accounts At a Glance report for 2018-19 by Accountant General of Uttarakhand, Appropriation of Accounts for the year 2018-19. The Bills that were tabled and passed today included Medical Education Amendment Bill, Panchayati Raj Bill, Labour Reforms Bill, District Planning Committee (Amendment) Bill, Jaunsar Land Bill, Agriculture Produce & Animal Husbandry Marketing Amendment Bill (in tune with the Centre’s new bills that were passed by the Parliament earlier this week). In addition, bills related to Corona pandemic, Pensions to the members of the House Bill, GST Amendment Bill, Uttarakhand State Universities (Umbrella Act), Devasthanam Board (Amendment) were also tabled. Some of the bills had been necessitated as they had been already enforced by the government earlier by bringing in ordinances.
It may be recalled that several ministers and members, having tested Corona positive, were not present in the House. These included Speaker Prem Chand Aggarwal, Cabinet Minister Harak Singh Rawat, Leader of the Opposition Dr Indira Hridayesh, Minister of State Dr Dhan Singh Rawat, Deputy Leader of the Congress Legislative Party Karan Singh Mahra, BJP MLAs Pradeep Batra and Umesh Sharma ‘Kau’. Cabinet Minister Yashpal Arya participated via online mode.
Those who were present in the House included Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, Ministers Satpal Maharaj, Madan Kaushik, Arvind Pandey, Subodh Uniyal, Rekha Arya, MLAs Munna Singh Chauhan, Mukesh Koli, Bharat Chaudhary, Pritam Singh Chauhan, Pritam Singh Panwar, Mamta Rakesh, Surendra Singh Jeena, Qazi Nizamuddin and Manoj Rawat. In all, around 40 members were present. Some participated via online mode.
In the evening, the House was adjourned sine die and later an order to this effect was also issued by the Vidhan Sabha Secretary on the directions of the chair, thus bringing to an end, the one day Monsoon session of the state assembly.
By Arun Pratap Singh