Opposition stages walk out, slams govt over ‘failures’

Opposition stages walk out, slams govt over ‘failures’

Jammu: The Budget session of the Jammu and Kashmir Legislature began on a stormy note on Tuesday 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 the opposition Congress and National Conference (NC) stood up and raised slogans against the state government, bearing placards listing the “failures” of the government on the security and Panchayati Raj fronts.
Senior NC MLA Mohammad Shafi Uri started reading out from a written memorandum, listing charges against the government.
The Governor gave him a patient hearing and asked him to submit the memorandum so that he could 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, Vohra began his address amid high-pitched protests, noisy scenes and thumping of desks in a bid to disrupt his speech, but he continued nonetheless.
The ruckus continued for several minutes, and NC and Congress legislators staged a walkout in the middle of the Governor’s address, after a few minutes of protests and sloganeering.
However, Independent Langate MLA Engineer Rasheed Ahmed continued interrupting the Governor’s address with his protests on the government’s failure to save innocent lives in Kashmir.
Speaking to reporters outside the house, Congress Legislative Party leader Rigzin Jora and NC MLA Ali Mohmmad Sagar said that the government had “failed” on all fronts, from security to governance.
Commenting on the security situation in Kashmir, Jora said it had deteriorated badly. “Highest number of security forces have been killed, but government is saying that situation is moving towards peace and normalcy. Only yesterday, five CRPF men were killed in a suicide attack,” he said.
“There is no improvement in the security situation, and the reality is that the situation is getting worse with each passing day since the PDP and BJP came together to form the government,” Jora charged.
He claimed that casualties suffered by forces and civilians over the past three years had increased manifold.
He said bloodshed was continuing and “fatal casualty among security personnel had broken all records over the past decade”.
Border residents are facing the brunt of Pakistani shelling which has also gone up alarmingly, the former minister said.
“They used to taunt us for border skirmishes. Today the situation is that every now and then, the forces and civilians are suffering casualties and the problems of border residents have increased manifold,” he said.
Jora claimed the increase in violence is because “this coalition of ideologically different parties has not gone down well with the people of the state”.
NC MLA Sagar said the party has submitted a memorandum to the governor on the “total failure” of the government and its dismissal.