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In election mood, session adjourned

Ranchi, March 5: Jharkhand Assembly was today adjourned sine die, two days ahead of schedule, soon after Election Commission of India announced the schedule of the 2014 general elections and imposed the model code of conduct.

Assembly business advisory council was of the view that though there was no technical hurdle in running the House further, it could lead to unnecessary controversies since the government may have had to make certain announcements or give assurances on wide ranging issues.

As Question Hour was on, labour and information minister K.N. Tripathi pointed out that the election commission had clarified that it was delaying the announcement of the poll schedule since several state assemblies were in session.

Under such circumstances, it wouldn’t be wise to continue with the Jharkhand Assembly session further, he said..

At this, Speaker Shashank Shekhar Bhokta announced that he would discuss the issue at a business advisory council meeting and take an appropriate decision accordingly.

The committee proposed that the House be adjourned sine die after passing the settlement of accounts bill and disposing of other essential legislative work.

Since morning, MLAs had been on election mode, much ahead of the election commission’s formal announcement.

Congress MLA Rajesh Ranjan wore his party scarf inside the House, which was strongly objected to by BJP members. But, since the Speaker initially said that there was no dress code for members, the BJP requisitioned a supply of party scarves and handed them over to each MLA, including leader of the Opposition Arjun Munda.

While MCC member Arup Chatterjee sat on a dharna in the Well, others joined him to protest against the BJP’s “unwarranted” conduct.

“If a particular member did something wrong in the House, it doesn’t mean that others too should be doing the same. Display of party symbols inside the House is not allowed,” Bhokta then clarified.

The House also witnessed noisy scenes while justifying reported irregularities in the seniority list of assistant conservator of forests rank officials. While JVM legislature party leader Pradip Yadav alleged chief minister Hemant Soren was unnecessarily delaying the issue by asking questions, Munda questioned government decisions to form one inquiry committee after another.

Hemant wasn’t present in the House at the time. Parliamentary affairs minister Rajendra Prasad Singh, however, assured the MLAs that the issue would be resolved within a month.

Replying to another question, Singh said that a solid waste management plant in Jamshedpur will be set up within three months.

Several MLAs including Videsh Singh, Vinod Kumar Singh and Rajesh Ranjan, demanded that their Assembly constituencies be declared sub-divisions. Ranjan had also launched a hunger strike on the Assembly premises.

The parliamentary affairs minister informed them that the government was considering these demands, but could not make announcements now that the poll code was in force.


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