Pardeep Singh Bali
Ruling PDP-BJP legislators Wednesday created ruckus in the Lower House over lack of accommodation and demanded the government should provide them special flats in Srinagar and Jammu.
The MLAs questioned why former minister and legislators are provided government accommodation, but the present MLAs ignored. As the MLAs created uproar, Speaker Kavinder Gupta directed the government to submit the report about accommodation in the House.
The legislators said that they should be provided same accommodation as ministers have. The issue was raised by PDP MLA from Sonawar, and former minister Muhammad Ashraf Mir, while he was speaking on discussion on allotment of grants to the departments held by chief minister, Mehbooba Mufti.
Mir while narrating his story said that when he was dropped from the council of ministers in the new government, he was asked by the government to vacate his official accommodation within a day. “It is ironic that defeated MLAs are living in government accommodation, but the ruling MLAs don’t have space to stay,” Mir said, adding, “The legislators have to roam like beggars from one office to other.”
PDP MLA from Noorabad and former minister, Abdul Majeed Paddar said that the legislators should have same accommodation as that of minister. “People come to meet us just like they meet ministers. But since we are provided one-room accommodation it is not possible for us to accommodate them to hear their grievances,” Paddar.
Legislators said that the MLA Hostel in Srinagar does not have sufficient accommodation for stay. Speaker Gupta corroborated the legislators, saying that the one-room hostel for MLAs is not sufficient and it is very unhygienic. BJP MLA from Jammu West, Sat Sharma said that the legislators should be provided three-room flats where they can live with their families.
Among the Opposition benches, Congress MLA from Banihal, Vikar Rasool and MLA Kargil, Asgar Ali Karbalie supported the ruling party. Trying to pacify the legislators, Minister for Rural Development, Law and Parliamentary Affaris, Abdul Haq Khan said that the demand of the MLAs was “genuine”.
“It is difficult to live in one-room accommodation. Government wishes to examine the issue and resolve it as early as possible,” Khan said. “Mufti Sahab wanted to build a multi-storey building with three-room flats for the legislators,” the minister said. All legislators, cutting across party lines, have been demanding hike in salaries, CDF and bullet proof cars.
Pardeep Singh Bali