Riyaz ul Khaliq
The statement made by Forest Minister and senior right wing BJP member, Lal Singh, that “it was not necessary that local MLA should present if ministers visit his/her constituency” evoked sharp criticism from across the party divide in Lower House on Tuesday.
The Opposition members were protesting and alleging that the PDP-BJP government was not taking them in to confidence in developmental works.
The issue was raised when a few MLAs were not allowed to raised supplementaries during Question Hour.
Earlier, PDP’s Javaid Baig and Mohammad Abbas Wani and NC’s Altaf Kaloo and Ab Majid Larmi walked out of the house. The house was discussing tourism related issues in Gulmarg which forced NC’s Altaf Kaloo to intervene. He told the house that government was not taking him in to confidence in Pahalgam tourism related issues.
When disallowed to raise supplementary, angry Larmi walked out of the house shouting, “we are not being respected.”
Junior Minister Ms Priya Sethi was responding to concern of MLA Gulmarg who was vouching for rights to Pony wallas.
In the meanwhile, PDP’s Baramulla too walked in to Well and asked Speaker as why “government was not taking local MLAs seriously”.
The trio later staged walk out.
Sensing House was not behaving normally, Forest Minister, Lal Singh, stood and told the house, “it is not necessary that a local MLA needs to be taken into confidence when a minister visits his/her constituency”.
This created pandemonium in the house as NC and Congress member stood up from their seats. PDP’s former Minister and DH Pora MLA, Ab Majid Padder, stood up from his seat and addressed Minister A R Veeri asking him “what Lal Singh was saying”. “What are we here for?” Padder asked the house. He was joined by a few BJP Lawmakers as well, however, they briskly sat back in their seats. However, former MoS Finance and Udhampur Lawmaker, Pawan Kumar Gupta, walked into the well.
The Opposition Lawmakers walked in to the well raising anti-government slogans.
Responding to issues raised by MLAs, Parliamentary Affairs Minister, A R Veeri assured the house that local MLAs will be taken into confidence whenever any developmental project or any inauguration takes place in the assembly segment concerned.
When he was stopped by Congress’ Nawang Rigzin Jora, Veeri replied, “I don’t want to dig into the past.” “Every MLA has its protocol and this government will take care of it.”