House urges PDP to end boycott

Speaker, Law Minister Reach Out To Opposition


Jammu, Mar 20: With Legislative Assembly functioning without the opposition, the House on Wednesday appealed Peoples Democratic Party to reconsider their boycott of the ongoing budget session.
Reaching out to the PDP, which has 21 members in the LA, Speaker on behalf of the House asked its leadership and members to return to the House. Law Minister Mir Saifullah also made a passionate appeal to the largest opposition party.
Last week, the PDP decided to boycott the LA proceedings in protest against the Government of India’s decision that it would not return Muhammad Afzal Guru’s mortal remains to his family. Afzal guru was hanged and buried in New Delhi’s Tihar Jail on February 9.
The PDP has also been accusing the State Government of suppressing the voice of the opposition in the House.
The issue of the boycott was today raised in the LA by NPP legislator Harsh Dev Singh. He said the PDP was already on boycott and now the BJP has decided to stay away. On Tuesday, the BJP members decided to boycott the House in protest against suspension of their state president Jugal Kishore Sharma from the remaining sittings. Sharma was suspended for misbehaving with woman Minister Sakina Ittoo during the proceeding yesterday.
“How will the House function?” Harsh asked. He said the state government should be “accommodative and large hearted” to reach out to the opposition parties.
Responding to it, the Law Minister said from the very first day of the budget session, the PDP was in “aggressive” mood and did not want that House should run smoothly.
He said they have the habit of raising hue and cry over an issue but would never listen to government reply. There was no doubt that opposition was the soul of democracy but the PDP’s announcement of boycott was “sudden”, the Minister said.
He said it was unfortunate that the PDP decided to stay away from the House ‘when they were sent by their people to raise their issues here.’
However, responding to the concern shown by several members, the Law Minister appealed PDP to return. He also appealed the BJP members to give up the boycott.
At this point, the Speaker intervened saying he had called a meeting of Business Advisory Committee to discuss the issue, however the PDP boycotted it.
“I appeal PDP on behalf of the House to give up their decision and return to the House,” the Speaker said.
Independent legislator Ashwani Kumar appealed the Speaker to reconsider his decision on suspension of BJP state president. He was supported by the NPP legislator Harsh Dev Singh.
However their appeal was met with stiff opposition by Speaker and several legislators. “This (Sharma’s suspension) is a unanimous decision of the House,” said the Speaker.
In protest, Ashwani Kumar and NPP members walked out of the House.
In the afternoon session, the issue of PDP boycott was again raised by some members including Congress’ GM Saroori. However the Speaker told them that the House has made an appeal to the opposition party. “Now it is up to them how they will respond. We can’t force them to sit in the House,” the Speaker said.
Later chairing a meeting of Business Advisory Committee (BAC), Speaker sought cooperation from all political parties to ensure smooth proceedings in the House so that maximum issues are raised. He said it is the forum where legislators have a chance to raise the problems of their respective areas.
The Speaker described the House as the temple of democracy and aspirations of people. He said parliamentary democracy in the State has been established by great sacrifices by our elders.
The meeting decided that Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Mir Saifullah would personally request the leader of Peoples Democratic Party (PDP) to join back the House for remaining business proceedings in the interest of democratic principles.
The meeting was attended by Deputy Speaker Legislative Assembly Muhammad Sartaj Madani, Deputy Chief Minister Tara Chand, Minister for Agriculture Ghulam Hassan Mir, Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Mir Saifullah, legislators Hakeem Muhammad Yasin, Harsh Dev Singh, M. Y. Tarigami, Ashwani Kumar Sharma, Secretary, Law and Parliamentary Affairs G. H. Tantray, Secretary Assembly M. Ramzan and other officers of Assembly Secretariat.

Lastupdate on : Wed, 20 Mar 2013 21:30:00 Makkah time
Lastupdate on : Wed, 20 Mar 2013 18:30:00 GMT
Lastupdate on : Thu, 21 Mar 2013 00:00:00 IST

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