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Tuesday, April 20, 2021

Oppn questions last minute passing of bills, UP Assembly adjourned sine die a week ahead of schedule

As soon as the House met for the day, Khanna said that due to the upcoming panchayat polls and the recurrence of Covid-19 cases in some states, the proceedings will be completed and the House will be adjourned.

Written by Maulshree Seth | Lucknow |
Updated: March 5, 2021 10:53:17 am
Uttar Pradesh Assembly adjournedAs soon as the House met for the day, Khanna said that due to the upcoming panchayat polls and the recurrence of Covid-19 cases in some states, the proceedings will be completed and the House will be adjourned (PTI/File)

A week ahead of the scheduled conclusion of the Budget session, the Uttar Pradesh Assembly was adjourned sine die Thursday, triggering a strong protest by the Opposition parties which called the decision a “murder of democracy”.

Soon after the Budget was passed, Legislative Assembly Speaker Hriday Narayan Dikshit adjourned the House sine die on the request of Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Khanna.

As soon as the House met for the day, Khanna said that due to the upcoming panchayat polls and the recurrence of Covid-19 cases in some states, the proceedings will be completed and the House will be adjourned.

“This session is going on since February 18 and today is the fifth day for discussion on Budget. Most of the points have been undertaken… Many members had expressed that Panchayat elections are due to take place and because of the new reservation of constituencies, objections are being raised at present. Thus they have to be present in their respective regions,” Khanna said.

This was opposed by the Leader of Opposition and Samajwadi Party legislator, Ram Govind Chaudhary, who said the decision curtailed the rights of the legislators. and the government should have stuck with the earlier schedule of March 10, which should have given the members the opportunity to raise their issues properly.

Accusing the BJP government of being “anti-democratic and anti-Constitution”, Chaudhary said: “Curtailing the session of the Assembly is akin to murder of democracy and cutting down the rights of members of legislature… the MLAs do not have to contest in the panchayat… The House should run till March 10, as decided earlier, as it would have given the members an opportunity to raise their issues properly.”

BSP Legislature Party leader Lalji Verma said that while there is a provision in the rules for at least 24 days of discussion on different heads of the Budget, the Opposition had agreed for 10 days till March 10.

“The government decided to reduce it by one week. What is the emergency? No MLA wants to get himself involved in the panchayat election. So, why are you dragging the MLAs into it? Moreover, the responsibility of the member is towards the House. The government is trying to bulldoze the democracy and create history by not even allowing Question Hour to happen as well,” he added.

Congress Legislature Party leader Aradhna Mishra also hit out at the BJP government.

“This is undemocratic. There are many new members, most of them are in the ruling party, who want to speak… I see no reason to curtail the session.”

Amid strong objection from the Opposition benches, Khanna said that it was being recommended in “public interest” and cited the Covid pandemic. “We are doing this in the public interest as possibilities of Covid infection is not over,” Khanna said.

Calling the government’s move “undemocratic” and maintaining that there was no such fear of coronavirus in running the Parliament, the entire Opposition walked out of the Assembly.

Subsequently, the Budget and the related Appropriation Bills were passed by a voice vote.

There were noisy scenes minutes before the House was adjourned sine die as the Opposition questioned the government over the tabling of a Bill to repeal enactments that have ceased to be in force or have become obsolete.

The opposition Samajwadi Party, Bahujan Samaj Party and Congress staged a walkout over what they called “procedural non-compliance” and alleged that democratic traditions were shattered. Amidst the din, the House passed the Uttar Pradesh Repealing Bill, 2021. In all, 61 laws were repealed through the Bill.

Speaker Hriday Narayan Dikshit then adjourned the House sine die.

“According to rules, no Bill can be tabled after the Motion of Thanks (to the governor’s address)… But democratic traditions were shattered. Bringing a bill minutes before the national anthem (which is played at the end of the session) is wrong. The government using its strength in the House to indulge in undemocratic deeds,” PTI quoted Congress Legislature Party leader Aradhana Misra as saying.

Bills passed on last day

The Uttar Pradesh Fundamental Rule 56 (Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2021, as per which the age of superannuation for retirement from government services from 58 years to 60 years with retrospective effect in accordance with the notification issued in 2001 for the same.

Uttar Pradesh Public Services (Reservation for Physically handicapped, dependants of Freedom fighters and Ex-servicemen) Bill, 2021, which would allow 5 per cent reservation in appointments on posts of group “B”.

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