JVM MLA Samresh Singh comes out of the Assembly in Ranchi on Monday. (Prashant Mitra)
Ranchi, Sept. 3: BJP, which as Opposition is disrupting both Houses of Parliament over the coal scam, today got a taste of its own medicine as the ruling party in Jharkhand, when Day 2 of the Assembly’s monsoon session was unceremoniously adjourned by the ruckus — including a dramatic ripping apart of a kurta — created by rivals JVM, Congress, RJD and CPI(ML) as well as allies JMM and Ajsu.
Outside the Assembly precincts, it was a virtual war zone with police barricades, tear gas and water cannons to control JVM protesters marching against “forced eviction” from Harmu grounds to Project Building via the Assembly.
Inside, the battle was more entertaining.
The Opposition’s uproar on contentious issues including Nagri land, demands of 80,000 striking para-teachers and the state’s alleged corporate backing rose to tragi-comic proportions, as JVM MLA Samresh Singh tore his white kurta before chief minister Arjun Munda, the first such exhibition inside the Assembly since Jharkhand’s inception. Thankfully, the veteran MLA did not roam around in his vest. He put on a new kurta an hour later.
What set apart the allies from the rivals was that the former raised only the issue of the para-teachers, who are considered a major vote-bank for all parties.
In the resounding pandemonium between 11am and 12.35pm, Speaker C.P. Singh adjourned the House thrice — at 11.05am, 12.05pm and finally 12.35pm. Important business such as the chief minister’s question hour, question hour and zero hour went for a toss.
The ruckus was timed punctually. As soon as the Speaker took his chair at 11am, MLAs from Opposition parties such as JVM, Congress, RJD and CPI(ML) and ruling alliances JMM and Ajsu started shouting, some going upto the Well of the Assembly.
“Corporate ke isharon par chalne wali sarkar, hai hai (Shame on the state that dances to the tune of corporate firms),” chanted JVM MLAs. Samresh Singh stormed towards treasury benches and faced chief minister Munda, flanked by his deputies Sudesh Mahto and Hemant Soren.
After an exchange of words, Singh ripped apart his kurta “protesting” the government’s “inaction”. The MLA, clad in a vest returned towards Opposition seats, prompting the Speaker to adjourn the House at 11.05am for an hour.
At noon, the proceedings started but were equally short-lived. MLAs of the Opposition and ruling factions again trooped into the well forcing the Speaker to adjourn the House for half an hour.
At 12.30pm, Singh joined the Opposition in a new kurta. Suddenly, the Speaker announced adjournment of House till tomorrow.
Singh, however, showed no remorse. “The CM has become apahij aur langra (handicapped and lame) and the government lacks vision,” he said.
As usual, Munda stayed unprovoked. “The government wants that the issues raised by the Opposition to be discussed thoroughly inside the Assembly. But they (Opposition) do not want to solve matters in a democratic manner. I feel that sense should prevail and the House will run smoothly in next few days,” the chief minister said.
But the Opposition seems to be in no mood to oblige. JVM MLA Phulchand Mandal quipped: “If government wants to discuss serious business, why this short session which will end in a couple of days?”
Opposition members are likely to decide their future course of action during the short monsoon session over a meeting tonight at a city hotel, acccording to JVM leader Arvind Kumar Singh.
Asked why they were against discussions , Arvind Singh retorted: “Jab puri janta sadak par hai to Vidhan Sabha ka kya (when the people are out on roads, then what about the Assembly). But Ajsu MLA and former minister Umakant Rajak said they wanted the state to listen to para-teacher demands.