Guru resolution stalled
Assembly Adjourned Amid Congress-BJP Showdown
MUDDASIR ALI/UMER MAQBOOL
Srinagar, Sep 28: A resolution seeking clemency for parliament attack convict Afzal Guru was stalled in the Assembly Wednesday after pandemonium broke out leading to adjournment of the House without any business being transacted. The private member’s resolution submitted by Independent MLA Er Rashid now lapses and cannot come up in the current nine-day Assembly session which ends next Tuesday.
As Congress and BJP members clashed on two separate issues and nearly came to blows, fans and tables were overturned while one member climbed onto the table of an official in the pandemonium which led to two adjournments before the House was adjourned for the full day.
Congress’s alliance partner National Conference and main opposition Peoples Democratic Party, silently watched the entire “show” as Speaker Muhammad Akbar Lone, without assistance from the marshals to force discipline, adjourned the House.
“The Guru resolution stands lapsed and it cannot be brought again for the voting in the ongoing session”, officials at Assembly Secretariat told Greater Kashmir.
“It was a drama enacted by all parties to sabotage the resolution. Even the timing of the proceeding for the day was changed deliberately to scuttle it,” Er Rashid, who is now reportedly planning to resign from the Assembly over the issue, said.
The chaos started in the morning as soon as he House convened. BJP and NPP MLAs stood up demanding that the Guru resolution be dropped. “Drag the traitors out off the House and drop the resolution,” they shouted.
They were responded to by the Congress members but on a different issue. Led by Viqar Rasool, Congress MLAs demanded that the list of the expelled BJP members should be made public and they should be disqualified from the House.
While junior Congress legislators stormed in the well, the party’s ministers including deputy chief minister Tara Chand stood up in protest. It was for the first time in the recent past that senior cabinet ministers joined any protest in the House.
There were noisy scenes and the Congress and BJP members could be seen levelling charges and counter charges.
“People involved in sex scandals and MBBS scandal should be dragged out of the House,” BJP members shouted. “Those who have taken bribe and were involved in cross-voting should be disqualified from the House,” Congress legislators retorted.
On this the Speaker intervened: “I am not expecting such un-parliamentary behaviour from treasury benches as well as opposition members.” However the Congress and BJP members did not budge. The Speaker kept asking the charged up members to return to their seats while keeping the marshals at bay.
Irked by the disruptions, Er Rashid engaged in verbal duel with BJP legislators forcing CPI (M)’s MY Tarigami to intervene.
As noisy scenes grew louder, the Speaker adjourned the House for 30 minutes.
When the House convened again, BJP and Congress legislators re-enacted the “show” with MLAs of Congress storming the well again.
“Do not take this House for-granted and do not show me muscle power. There is no harm in discussing the resolution. It has already been admitted in the House,” Speaker told BJP members, threatening he will order marshals to take out the agitating legislators.
The Chief Minister, Omar Abdullah, and his party members were wordlessly watching the scene from the treasury benches while the opposition PDP legislators led by party chief Mehbooba Mufti remained stuck on their seats. The PDP had decided to support the resolution.
“It is unfortunate that the members are resorting to anti-parliamentary acts,” Speaker said as the pandemonium forced yet another adjournment for one-hour.
When the House met again in the afternoon, the Congress and BJP continued to trade accusations. However the scene turned severe when legislators of both the parties stormed the well and started exchanging blows near the Speaker’s podium. Some members fell down in commotion.
Congress’s Viqar Rasool stood up on the table in the well and shouted anti-BJP slogans.
“It is very unfortunate that the members have turned the House into a fish market,” said Speaker as Er Rashid too trooped into the well and started shouting amidst noisy scenes. He kicked microphones and moving fans in the well. Though a marshal caught hold of him and tried to take him away, Speaker intervened directing the marshals; “Let him break these (items).”
With BJP and Congress members refusing to return to their seats, Speaker adjourned the House again, thus resulting in lapsing of the Guru resolution.
The resolution was inspired after Tamil Nadu Assembly passed a unanimous resolution asking that the death sentence be commuted for three men who were scheduled to be executed this month for assassinating former Prime Minister Rajiv Gandhi. Their case is now being reviewed by the Madras High Court while Afzal Guru’s clemency petition for his role in parliament attack in 2001, is pending with the President.
SPEAKER REGRETS PDP SILENCE
While keeping mum on the role of NC in the House, Speaker Muhammad Akbar Lone regretted the silence of the opposition PDP in the Assembly during the clash between Congress and BJP MLAs as a result of which today’s business in the House got lapsed.
“PDP members were so silent in the House during the clash between Congress and BJP MLAs as if nothing was happening, the Speaker told reporters after the adjournment outside the House.
On the fate of the resolution, the Speaker said the rules provide that any business which does not come up for discussion lapses. However, he said, there is no bar for a member to come with another resolution, which he will examine as per law and as per business rules.
Lastupdate on : Wed, 28 Sep 2011 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 28 Sep 2011 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 29 Sep 2011 00:00:00 IST
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