Ruckus marred the Zero Hour on the second day of the ongoing Haryana Vidhan Sabha session Monday as Speaker Kanwar Pal disallowed discussion on controversial issues including Sutlej-Yamuna-Link (SYL), the deteriorating law and order situation in the state and fuel-price rise across the country.
Raised by both INLD and Congress, the adjournment motions were not taken up by the Speaker as the Zero Hour commenced. While the Speaker cited SYL issue as a sub-judice case that is pending in Supreme Court and disallowed INLD’s adjournment motion, he gave no reasons for disallowing the other two adjournment motions on deteriorating law and order situation in Haryana and fuel-price rise submitted by Congress. Heated exchanges between the opposition and treasury benches marred the Zero Hour as the Session progressed after an extended Question hour ended. Leader of Opposition, Abhay Chautala raised the issue of SYL urging the Speaker to allow discussion on the floor of the House. However, citing various rules of Assembly’s proceedings, the Speaker disallowed it.
Reacting on Speaker’s decision, the INLD legislators shouted anti-government slogans calling state government an “anti-farmer government”. They were joined by Congress legislators who too demanded that a discussion be held on SYL issue and they too had submitted an adjournment motion on the same.
“This is the most important issue not only for us, but for the whole of Haryana. There is no bar on holding a discussion in the House. Government wants to linger this issue and that is why they have filed a frivolous application in the Supreme court”, Abhay said while accusing the government of deliberately not wanting discussion on SYL in the House.
Congress’ legislators Kiran Choudhry and Kuldeep Sharma too raised the issue of SYL and demanded a discussion on it. Congress legislators too entered the Well and demanded that Speaker allows discussion on the Adjournment motions submitted by them.
The ruckus continued for nearly 40 minutes but the Speaker maintained that he can not allow discussion on SYL and cited various rules and regulations supporting his decision. As the House failed to progress, Speaker warned INLD legislators and asked them to take their seats. At this, INLD legislators led by Abhay Chautala staged a walk out in protest.
Earlier before the beginning of the Session’s second day proceedings, Congress legislators marched towards the Vidhan Sabha holding placards accusing government on fuel price-rise. A few of the Congress legislators including former Chief Minister Bhupinder Hooda and CLP leader Kiran Choudhry even rode on a mule-cart on their way to the Haryana Vidhan Sabha and protesting against BJP for increasing fuel prices across the country.
The Question Hour began with Haryana Sports Minister Anil Vij apprising the House of government’s recently notified Sports policy. There were a few listed in the name of INLD’s legislator from Jind, Hari Chand Midha, who died of a cardiac arrest last month. Paying tributes to him, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar apprised the House that he was setting up a new tradition in the Assembly today. “Today, Mr. Midha is no more with us, but fulfilling the demands of his area would be the real tributes to him. Nine questions of Mr. Midha including eight starred one un-starred were lined up for the Session. Three new roads for Jind constituency and the work for setting up of 132 KV sub-station in Sector 9 Jind would be completed by December, 2018. Though there is no proposal to upgrade the Government Girls High School at village Barsola, yet we have decided to upgrade it to Government Girls Senior Secondary School as a tribute to Mr Midha”, Khattar said while speaking during Question House. However, the opposition legislators including Leader of Opposition Abhay Chautala and Congress’ legislator Kuldeep Sharma accused Khattar of making these announcements to woo the voters of Jind assembly constituency eyeing the forthcoming bypoll.
Khattar to address the House on Nuh incident tomorrow
Last month’s firing incident that took place in Punhana of Nuh district in which a villager Sahib was killed in cross-fire also rocked the House today. During the Zero Hour, BJP’s MLA Krishan Kumar Bedi accused INLD legislator Naseem Ahmed of siding with “goondas”. This ensued a heated exchange between Naseem Ahmed and Bedi. INLD’s MLA from Nuh, Zakir Hussain too intervened and challenged Bedi to prove his accusations. Both the sides levelled allegations at each other. Leader of Opposition, Abhay Chautala too demanded that the government must address the issue of an innocent getting killed in the cross-firing. Last month, 22 policemen and 15 others were booked on charges of murder in the death of 23-yr-old, Sahib, who was caught in a cross-fire between villagers in Patakpur and police teams from Haryana and Uttarakhand that went there to arrest a wanted criminal. On Sahib’s father Saheed Khan’s complaint, the case was registered at Punhana police station.
To pacify the opposition legislators, Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar stood up and apprised the House that he shall make a statement on the incident in the House tomorrow detailing all the facts related to the case.
‘Chinese salt’ usage and its impact on newborns
During the Question House, Congress legislator Karan Dalal asked Health Minister Anil Vij to apprise the House about the adverse impact of Chinese salt on newborns across Haryana. Replying to the question, Vij apprised the House that “Monosodium Glutamate, commonly known as Chinese salt, is a permissible food additive and flavour enhancer, as per the provisions contained in Appendix A of Food Safety and Standards (Food Products Standards and Food Additives) Regulations, 2011, subject to Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) level and under proper label declaration of the same.” Responding to Vij’s reply, Dalal pointed out various side-effects of the salt. “If given to the pregnant women, it may hamper the oxygen supply in newborn’s brain. It also leads to an increase in blood pressure and there are reports that plastic is being mixed in this salt,” Dalal pointed out demanding a thorough probe by the government into usage of Chinese salt. To this, Vij apprised the House that Chinese salt can not be given to children below 12 years old. “In Haryana, 222 shopkeepers have been raided who were found selling Chinese salt. But, as per Food Safety Regulations, it can be mixed in Chinese food like noodles and pasta, provided proper labelling and levels are put up.”
Government to procure entire crop of Bajra
In Haryana, the government procurement agencies shall procure the entire crop of bajra that will arrive in the mandis, during the coming procurement season. This year, bajra has been sown on an area of 5.50 lakh hectares and its estimated production is 11.28 lakh metric tonnes. The announcement was made by Agriculture minister OP Dhankar while replying to a question raised by MLA Abhay Singh Yadav. The minister also apprised the House that, the government has increased Minimum Support Price (MSP) of kharif crops and bajra shall be procured at the rate of Rs 1,950 per quintal through government agencies.
Toll-free number for farmers
Haryana Government shall soon launch a toll free number for farmers to promptly inform about the damage caused to crops due to natural calamities. Till now, only the Central Government has made available such toll free number. Haryana’s Agriculture minister OP Dhankar today announced it in the House, while replying to a question raised by INLD’s MLA Parminder Singh Dhull. “During last three years, claims amounting to Rs 300 crore were received under ‘Pradhan Mantri Fasal Bima Yojana’ (PMFBY), of which the insurance companies provided compensation of about Rs 232 crore to three lakh farmers”, Dhankar apprised the House.