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Unruly Assembly earns chowk tag

- Day 3: supplementary budget passed despite deafening decibels

Ranchi, Sept. 4: Day Three of the monsoon Assembly session today touched a new low as the ruckus by Opposition and some ruling alliance MLAs prompted Speaker C.P. Singh to comment that they had turned the “sadan into Birsa chowk”, referring to the capital’s main venue for dharnas.

The MLAs started an uproar over para-teacher demands, the state’s deteriorating law and order and yesterday’s JVM rally where a bystander was fatally hit by a water cannon deployed by the state for crowd control.

As soon as House proceedings started around 11am, Opposition members started shouting slogans and showing off placards and stickers pasted on shirts and kurtas demanding the government’s reply to para-teacher demands and urging more power for panchayat representatives.

When Congress and JVM MLAs trooped to the Well of the House, Speaker Singh requested them to take their seats and allow question hour to start.

The Speaker rejected three adjournment motions. JVM leader Pradeep Yadav demanded a compensation of Rs 25 lakh from the government for yesterday’s rally victim’s kin. CPI(ML) MLA Vinod Kumar Singh urged para-teachers be given their due. Congress legislator Saurabh Narayan Singh spoke on the state’s deteriorating law and order. When the Speaker said they should be read by the respective MLAs after noon, Opposition MLAs as well as a few from ruling allies Ajsu and JMM resorted to anti-government sloganeering, bringing about the first adjournment of the House at 11.20am.

Sadan ko Birsa Chowk bana diye hai kya (have you turned the Assembly into Birsa Chowk)?” the Speaker sarcastically asked.

At noon, JMM MLA Jagannath Mahto resumed sloganeering on the issue of 80,000 state para-teachers serving in government primary and middle schools under Sarva Siksha Abhiyan.

JVM legislator Nirbhay Kumar Shahabadi requested the Speaker to prod the government (read chief minister Arjun Munda and his deputies Sudesh Kumar Mahto and Hemant Soren), as the matter of giving long-pending benefits to para-teachers was lying with finance department, Hemant Soren’s portfolio.

But the Speaker did not entertain Shahabadi. “It seems every political party wants to take credit for giving benefits to para-teachers,” he said and requested leader of Opposition Rajendra Prasad Singh, a Congress MLA, to intervene.

“If the government doesn’t give a satisfactory reply to a matter pending for three years, how can the House run?” retorted the Opposition leader, prompting another adjournment at 12.15 for 15 minutes.

Mayhem was the order of the day at 12.30pm, when the House was adjourned till the second half.

Senior BJP leader and former deputy chief minister Raghubar Das termed the utter chaos as “unfortunate”. “Every day House proceedings get disturbed. The government seems to be uncertain about resolving issues,” the veteran leader said outside the Assembly.

Budget passed

The first supplementary budget for the current fiscal was passed by the Assembly by voice vote in the afternoon session, even as the Opposition MLAs kept raising slogans in the Well demanding immediate discussion on the plight of para-teachers. JMM and Ajsu members too supported the Opposition’s demand.


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