Patna, Feb. 14: Governor D.Y. Patil today arguably delivered the shortest speech at the joint session of both Houses of Bihar Legislature on the opening day of the budget session.
Patil finished his 27-page address in just about five minutes on health grounds. He read out a couple of lines from some paragraphs highlighting the government’s achievements in creating a positive atmosphere and sense of security among citizens.
“The governor is unwell. He was advised not to prolong his speech,” said a minister, citing the reason behind the governor’s shortest ever address in the Assembly.
The short speech of Patil came a day after industrialists batted for a full budget — a lengthy process involving at least six weeks of Assembly session. The government, on the other hand, has decided to present a vote-on-account for the financial year 2014-15 apparently because of its representatives’ keenness to start campaigning for the general election at the earliest. This year, the budget session has just seven working days.
“The session has been shortened because of the coming Lok Sabha polls. But it is still important,” said Speaker Uday Narayan Chaudhary.
In his short address, Patil said law and order had been given topmost priority as a result of which rate of organised crime has come down. More than 87,542 criminals had been punished by courts so far since 2006, he said reeling out crime figures.
The state government, as part of its zero tolerance policy against corruption, had registered 51 cases in special courts involving property worth Rs 42.48 crore, he said.
In the year 2013-14, as many as 86 cases of corruption had been registered, Patil said. The governor also highlighted that the state had recorded progress in all vital fields of education, agriculture, health, power and roads among others.
Like Patil’s speech, the rituals of the House were quickly disposed of on the opening day of the session. The proceedings went on smoothly and the House was adjourned till Monday after going through the ritual of reading out obituaries for Damodar Singh and former ministers Sitaram Singh and Pitambar Paswan.
The opposition, for a change, sat silently throughout the proceeding. There was jeering from the BJP leaders only when the Speaker announced that the Assembly seat of Sahebpur Kamal in Begusrai had become vacant because of the resignation of former social welfare minister Parveen Amanullah. “She must have given reason for her resignation. What was it? Rampant corruption?” asked a BJP MLA. The treasury ignored the interruption, though.
“We shall create ruckus from Monday. Issues like the resignation of Parveen Amanullah and the alleged ISI link of minister Shahid Ali Khan would be raised,” said a senior BJP MLA.
Former deputy chief minister and MLC Sushil Kumar Modi came to the Assembly for the joint address after around 10 months and sat right across chief minister Nitish Kumar but they did not even greet each other. They were forced to acknowledge each other’s presence in the Bihar Legislative Council building, though.