Jammu: The Budget session of the state Legislature began today on a stormy note as the Opposition staged a walkout during Governor N N Vohra’s address to the joint session to protest the alleged failure of the PDP-BJP government on all fronts, particularly security.
As the Governor was about to begin his address in the Central hall, members of opposition Congress and NC stood up and raised slogans against the state government and placards listing “failures” of the government on security and Panchayati Raj fronts.
As Governor Vohra started his address to begin the Budget session, members of the opposition including National Conference and Congress stood up shouting slogans against the PDP-BJP coalition government.
They shouted “PDP-BJP Hai Hai’ and obstructed Vohra’s speech before walking out of the House. Vohra later delivered his address to the bicameral House.
The members continued with the slogans like “PDP-BJP hai hai”, “Jumhuriyat ke qatilo hosh main aav” and “Chotti Katne wali sarkar hai hai”, even as the Governor asked them to remain seated.
The legislature was scheduled to take up obituary references to former members who passed away since it met last time.
However, NC legislator Mohammad Shafi Uri started to read out the party’s allegations against the government. The governor gave him a patient hearing and asked him to submit the memorandum so that he can begin his speech.
Though Shafi handed over the memorandum to the governor, Opposition MLAs resorted to sloganeering when Vohra started his address.
After a brief pause, the governor began his address amid high pitched protests, noisy scenes and thumping of desks in a bid to disrupt his speech, but he continued his address.
The ruckus continued for several minutes, and the National Conference and Congress legislators staged a walkout in the middle of the governor s address.
After over few minutes of protests and sloganeering, opposition NC and Congress staged walkout from the house.
Meanwhile, amid the din independent legislator from Langate constituency Er Rashid continued his protest while the governor was addressing a joint session. Rashid countered Governor at every point of his address saying that he was being misled by the state government.
“You are forced to say lies here. Government has to come clear on civilian killings and other HR violations,” he shouted.
Rashid continued to disrupt Governor and said right to self determination was only solution to the Kashmir issue.
“During Vajpayee’s rule India was ready to talk to five commanders of Hizbul Mujahidin outfit and now they are reluctant for talks. If Kashmir is not an issue then what is Dineshwar Sharma doing in Kashmir,” he said.
However, Governor continued his address in the hall and said we must learn from the happenings in 2016 and focus on issues relating to the interests of the neglected and marginalized groups.
“Such sensitivity is already discernible in government’s recent policy initiatives and hopefully, over time, appropriate policies will put the State on the path of sustained peace and development,” Vohra said in his speech said.
He said government needs to regain the lost trust and negate the misgivings in certain sections of our society.
“PM’s Independence Day Address reflects his concern and empathy for the people of J&K. The subsequent appointment by the Union Government as it appointed Special Representative to hold talks with the people belonging to all shades of opinion is recognition of the concern for widening the constituency of peace, to include even those who may have contrary ideological convictions,” he said.
He said peace was a great force multiplier. “Engagements with all the stakeholders will help gain ground, there will be a yearning for peace. And when peace comes it will create its own externalities,” he said.
He said the present dispensation is committed to taking all possible steps for building on the peace dividend and also remains equally determined to ensure that the arc of violence does not spread from the fringes to the mainstream, to yet again disrupt our lives.
“This will require tough and targeted actions by our security forces,” he said.
Meanwhile, speaking to the media after staging a walkout from the legislature, Ali Muhammad Sagar, legislator and senior NC leader said they walked out of the session to protest against the failure of the state government.
“State government has failed on every front. Today’s protest has been staged to tell the government that it has failed in giving even basic amenities to people,” he said.
Both the NC and Congress legislators staged a sit-in outside the legislature after staging a walk out from the House.
Earlier, Tassaduq Hussain Mufti, brother of Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti, was sworn in as a member of the state Legislative Council, the Upper House.
Tassaduq Mufti has already been inducted into the state cabinet and he has been assigned the Tourism portfolio.