Opposition disrupts Governor’s speech, walks out

JK Budget session starts on stormy note

Newspoint Bureau

Srinagar, May 25

Opposition National Conference and Congress on Wednesday disrupted the Governor’s address to the Jammu and Kashmir legislature protesting against AFSPA, “shortage of ration”, among others, and staged a walkout.

As soon as Governor NN Vohra rose to address the members of the Assembly and Legislative Council, National Conference and Congress MLAs took to their feet. The National Conference members started shouting slogans demanding revocation of the controversial Armed Forces Special Powers Act (AFSPA) imposed in the state.

They also demanded “adequate” supply of foodgrains to the people of the state and dismissal of Forest Minister Lal Singh for allegedly making threatening remarks against Gujjars in Jammu region last week.

The NC members shouted slogans like ‘AFSPA ko wapas karo’ (revoke AFSPA), ‘Bhashan nahi ration chahiyay’ (we do not need speeches, give ration) and ‘Lal Singh ko barkhast karo’ (dismiss Lal Singh).

The Congress members alleged that the PDP-BJP coalition government has failed on issues like implementation of National Food Security Act and regularisation of daily wage workers in various government departments.

Members of both the opposition parties later walked out from the hall even as the Governor refused to pay heed to the protest and continued his address.

However, Independent MLA from Langate Sheikh Abdul Rashid, who had joined the opposition protest, remained in the House and continued to shout slogans during Vohra’s speech.

Rashid, carrying a banner, was seeking to know the fate of the time-bound magisterial inquiry into the killing of youths in Handwara allegedly by the army on 12 April following alleged molestation of a girl by a jawan.

“We want to know what happened to the inquiry into Handwara killings,” Rashid said. As Vohra was reading out various schemes and welfare measures to be implemented by the state government, Rashid said, “You (Governor) do not represent us. You are a non-state subject. We are supposed to have an elected Sadr-e-Riyasat (president of the state)…you represent Delhi.”

The controversial MLA also told the Governor that he was “made to lie” by the government. “Not even one percent of what you have been made to say (in the joint address) is true,” he added. The Legislative Assembly will now meet on Thursday for taking up obituary references while discussion on Motion of Thanks to the Governor’s address will be held on Friday and Saturday.

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