On a day when Rajya Sabha took up the Motion of Thanks for the President’s Address amid the boycott of proceedings by key Opposition parties, regional parties raised state-specific issues while the JD(U) and the BJP hit back against Opposition criticism.
AIADMK leader Vijila Sathyananth sought the Centre’s intervention for release of Tamil Nadu’s share of Cauvery water by Karnataka. “Central Government should take steps to release water and constitute Cauvery Management Board,” she said. She also asked the Centre to resolve the problems of fireworks manufacturers, saying none of them was using prohibited chemicals and 8 lakh families depended on this sector.
Dilip Tirkey (BJD) sought an inter-state tribunal for the Mahanadi and early release of compensation for people affected by the Polavaram project.
The JD(U)’s Ram Chandra Prasad Singh hit back at Leader of the Opposition Ghulam Nabi Azad for criticising Swachh Bharat and Ujjawala Yojana, saying the Congress did nothing when in power and was now unable to appreciate the NDA’s efforts. Referring to the Opposition’s observation that some Governors were bypassing the state administration, Singh said the Congress had done the same in Bihar in 2005 and in Kashmir. “Today, they are feeling anguished, why?”
Meghraj Jain (BJP) blamed the Opposition for making fun of the Prime Minister while denying Congress allegations that the government has repackaged any scheme.
Sanjay Raut (Shiv Sena) sought a national debate on holding simultaneous Lok Sabha and state polls. Union Minister Ramdas Athawale of the RPI(A) stressed a need for a consensus on simultaneous polls. He added he does not know if Shiv Sena will be with BJP in 2019, but his party will.
Vijayasai Reddy (YSRCP ) raised a point of order, asking deputy chairman P J Kurien if the rules permit a ruling party partner, also represented in the cabinet, to “troop into the well of the House and protest against the presidential address”. Kurien said in a democracy, “dissent is always possible, the other thing is propriety.” Reddy said it was really unfortunate, and if members of that party wanted to protest, they should first resign from the cabinet.