News Kashmir Exclusive
Autumn Assembly Session 2015 of Jammu & Kashmir Legislative Assembly was one of the highly charged Assembly sessions in the history of Kashmir. Controversies defined the Assembly working more than the usual concrete debates on key public issues.
At the formal start of Assembly session on Monday unruly scenes were witnessed as the house was adjourned for the day after two adjournments failed to restore order in the House over the controversial beef ban issue and imposition of tax on helicopter rides to Mata Vaishno Devi Shrine by the J&K government.
What was a surprise was that the prominent opposition Congress did not touch the beef ban issue at all and instead cornered the government on imposition of what has been called controversial tax on helicopter rides to the Vaishno Devi Shrine.
Facing the opposition charge of being “RSS man”, Jammu and Kashmir Assembly Speaker Kavinder Gupta went on to say that he is proud to be RSS member but when inside the House, he is just the Speaker and all this created lot of resentment from Opposition members.
Tuesday was no different as opposition National Conference (NC) and Congress legislators shouted for protection of article 35A of the constitution and raised issue of NYC hunger strike and also sought regularization of daily wagers in the state. Amid uproar and unruly some NC Lawmakers were suspended from the assembly and main opposition party NC decided to boycott the entire session.
On Wednesday, Keeping in the mind the urgent need to transact business in J&K Assembly, Chief Minister Mufti Muhammad Sayeed stepped in to revoke suspension of four National Conference (NC) legislators. And accordingly both the Speaker and the Chairman of lower and upper house respectively revoked the suspension following the Chief Minister’s intervention.
Thursday set its own bad precedent in the history of uproar in legislative assembly as in a shocking and shameful incident, Independent MLA from North Kashmir’s Langate Constituency Engineer Rashid, who hosted a beef party in MLA hostel on Wednesday night, was thrashed by Bharatiya Janata Party MLAs in the state Assembly. Angered by his beef party, BJP MLAs attacked Rashid inside the Assembly on Thursday and beat him up.
As a matter of fact, the Autumn Assembly session witnessed important debates on few burning issues like worse condition of roads, need to improve picture of health sector and lacunas in Public Distribution system. Minister for Public Works (R&B), Floriculture, Gardens and Parks, Syed Muhammad Altaf Bukhari stated heavy rains during September 2014 and March- April 2015 had lent tremendous damaged roads in the State, adding that temporary restoration works have been executed and all roads made trafficable.
This was stated by the Minister while replying to a calling attention notice by MLA Nowshera, Ravinder Raina. Minister admitted in the house that condition of Roads in the State of Jammu & Kashmir is far from being satisfactorily and there is still shortage of required funds to change the face of Kashmir roads towards betterment.
Minister for Health and Medical Education, ARI & Trainings, Chaudary Lal Singh threw light on the different steps being taken to refurbish the public healthcare facilities especially at places like Kupwara, Shopian and Pulwama and made it clear that its prominent priority of the government to change the face of healthcare facility in the state towards betterment.
While speaking over the drug abuse issue in the Legislative Assembly and the steps needed to curb drug menace in the state. “Police is responsible for increasing drug menace in the state,” the Health Minister said. “Police know the source of drugs, but they (policemen) save them. These police men are taking money from drug dealers and our drug control department is not able to do anything.”
Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed took lead in explaining the steps taken to improve public distribution system and stated that Public Distribution Centers would be made role model were all basic commodities will be available.
Mufti Sayeed stated that Government’s role in streamlining the Public Distribution System in the state has been impressive , Mufti Sayeed said it is a major achievement of the Government that ration is now being provided to people as per 2011 Census, when earlier it was being distributed as per Census 2001.
Congress and NC showed unity on some issues while on some issues their joint opposition did not present a united face.
On holistic Paradigm, the Autumn Assembly Session was marked by controversies and saw very few moments of concrete debate.