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Tuesday, September 28, 2021

May do away with Zero Hour from next session, says Haryana Assembly Speaker

Taking a dig at Speaker's conduct of Zero Hour, Congress MLA Chiranjeev Rao later told mediapersons, “Yesterday also, six BJP MLAs spoke during Zero Hour while only one Congress MLA was allowed. It makes no sense for the government to get a pat on its back from its own MLAs.”

By: Express News Service | Chandigarh |
August 24, 2021 7:12:25 pm
Bhupinder Singh HoodaLeader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda had earlier objected to the chair's decision of allowing three members each to the members to raise the issues of their choice. (File photo)

The Haryana Vidhan Sabha may do away with the Zero Hour from the next session, Speaker Gian Chand Gupta Tuesday said. The Speaker’s remarks came on the concluding day of the three-day monsoon session when Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda objected to the chair’s decision of allowing three members each to the members to raise the issues of their choice.

As soon as the Zero Hour commenced, the Speaker asked Congress member Mamman Khan to speak. Hooda intervened and said that it was against the precedent. He insisted that the Zero Hour was meant for discussion on the “burning issues”. “We have not come here to hear constituency’s demands during Zero Hour,” he added.

Several other Congress members including Bharat Bhushan Batra, Jagbir Malik and Raghubir Singh Kadian joined Hooda and raised objections.

The Speaker, however, insisted that it was important for the members of the House to raise the issues of their choice and Hooda should not force any of them on what to speak.

A visibly irked Hooda said that in such a case, the Zero Hour should be eliminated. As Hooda reiterated his remarks, Gupta said that he would consider eliminating the Zero Hour from the next sitting of the Assembly. “The Zero Hour was resumed on your demand. If you do not want it to continue, we will consider eliminating it from the next session, but the Zero Hour will continue today as it was considered,” Gupta told Hooda.

Batra, while objecting to the way the Zero Hour was being conducted, said that it was not correct on Speaker’s part to individually ask each member to speak for three minutes as it “defeats the purpose of Zero Hour”.

Earlier, Congress legislators demanded that the session’s duration be extended as many issues of public importance were yet to be raised and discussed. However, Speaker insisted that since there was no pending Business of the House, the duration would not be increased. A proposal was mooted in the House and passed by the Speaker by vote of majority on concluding the session.

Objecting to Speaker’s decision not to extend duration of the session, Congress members Jagbir Singh Malik and Raghubir Kadian trooped into the Well and protested.

Earlier, another Congress MLA, Amit Sihag, while speaking during the Zero Hour, demanded that the pace of Covid-19 vaccination be increased in rural areas. Citing three villages where 95 per cent population has had its first dose of vaccine, Sihag demanded that the government should offer Rs. 50 lakh as incentive for villages that have achieved over 90 per cent vaccination coverage.

Also speaking during the Zero Hour, Jagbir Singh Malik too on the ruling BJP-JJP alliance over corruption. “This government had been saying that it adopts a zero tolerance for corruption. However, so many scams including registry scam, liquor scam, ration scam have come to fore. About 300 revenue officers were indicted in registry scam, but nobody knows what action was taken against them. I have a list of 80 scams that took place, but no action was taken in any of them. The government had purchased Coronil kits worth Rs 2.72 crore. Where did those kits go? To whom were these kits delivered? Nobody knows. The government should constitute high-level committees to probe all such incidents of corruption”.

BJP MLA Harvinder Kalyan demanded that there should be a limit set for the protests in the Vidhan Sabha. “Law and order was disrupted during the official programmes of public representatives, ministers. In the garb of farmers agitation, lawlessness was spread. The opposition never condemns such acts of lawlessness”, Kalyan said while taking a dig at Opposition for not condemning boycott or protests during BJP-JJP leaders’ functions in the past few months.

JJP MLA Devender Babli pointed out that several announcements that the government had made in the past few months were yet to be implemented. Several opposition MLAs demanded a discussion on the ongoing farmers’ agitation. BJP’s Nayan Pal Rawat, however, attacked Congress and pointed fingers at Hooda for releasing farmers’ land to private builders in the name of land acquisition.

Independent MLA Sombir Sangwan, too, raised the issue of ongoing farmers’ agitation.

Taking a dig at Speaker’s conduct of Zero Hour, Congress MLA Chiranjeev Rao later told mediapersons, “Yesterday also, six BJP MLAs spoke during Zero Hour while only one Congress MLA was allowed. It makes no sense for the government to get a pat on its back from its own MLAs.”

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