Opposition MLAs demand sops for teachers outside the Assembly on Wednesday. Picture by Prashant Mitra
Ranchi, Sept. 5: If two members of the Rajya Sabha indulged in fisticuffs, Jharkhand legislators came close to exchanging punches inside the House on Day 4 of the monsoon session in the Assembly today.
Only timely intervention by a few, including Opposition leader Rajendra Prasad Singh, prevented the state MLAs from matching the “feat” in the Upper House after BJP’s Uma Shankar Akela raked up police cases against senior Congressman Chandra Shekhar Dubey alias Dadai Dubey.
During a chaotic Question Hour, Akela pointed out that dozen-odd police cases had been slapped against Dubey, some of which he was even charge-sheeted and jailed.
Akela found support from Speaker C.P. Singh, considered Dubeys’ bête noire, angering the entire Opposition in the process. Dubey, who represents Bishrampur (Palamau) was not present in the House during the ruckus between 11am and 11.40am.
An agitated Congress MLA (Hazaribagh) Saurabh Narayan Singh and his East Singhbhum(W) counterpart Banna Gupta fumed at Akela.
“Dubey is one of the senior most members of Congress. These things should not be discussed in his absence. Moreover, what is the basis of Akela’s allegations? The chair should not entertain these things,” asserted Saurabh Narayan Singh.
Gupta added, “Against which politician is there no police case? Leaders are here to fight for people’s cause and in the process invites the wrath of police and the government.”
Along with Saurabh Narayan Singh and fellow Congress MLA Anant Pratap Deo, Gupta to trooped to the Well.
Ruling faction MLAs Bidesh Singh (Independent) and Lobin Hembrom (JMM) also approached the well, as things heated up, before they both factions were coaxed away.
The Speaker, against whom Dubey has levelled charges of being biased in the past, said the House had the right to know facts. “Let the government inquire into the matter (police cases against Dubey) and inform the House by 2pm tomorrow, the last day of the monsoon session,” he said.
Senior Congress MLAs Sarfaraz Ahmad and Madhav Lal Singh also demanded that that discussions about Dubey be set aside. After Dubey returned, the Speaker pointed out disruptive remarks made by the Congress leader earlier.
The entire Opposition eventually walked out, leading to a subdued Question Hour and Zero Hour after 12pm.
During the afternoon session, Dubey asked for an apology from the Speaker.
Meanwhile, agriculture minister Satyanand Jha Batul announced that his government would give interest-free loans to farmers. All 214 seed farms in the state would become functional within six months and farmers would be given 75 per cent subsidy on seeds, he added.
Replying to a special debate in the second half on drought, displacement and migration of labourers, he said that identification of panchayats where rainfall was minimal was on in full swing. Relief packages for various areas will be decided accordingly.