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In Assembly, BJP, PDP on a collision course over AFSPA

One of the agitating members even carried a placard saying 'Big No - AFSPA’.

Written by Arun Sharma | Jammu | Updated: April 8, 2015 1:31:05 am
AFSPA BJP MLAs shout slogans as they stage a protest over AFSPA in the Assembly during budget session in Jammu on Tuesday. (Source: PTI Photo)

Differences between ruling PDP-BJP coalition partners were evident when the latter’s legislators raised anti-Pakistan slogans in the Legislative Assembly on Tuesday, opposing the demand for withdrawal of AFSPA from any place in Jammu and Kashmir.

Slogans like “Pakistan murdabad’’ and “security forces zindabad’’ rented the air with a number of BJP members, including Ravinder Raina and R S Pathania, entering into the Well, soon after Speaker Kavinder Gupta announced the beginning of question hour. One of the agitating members even carried a placard saying “Big No – AFSPA’’.

The BJP legislators were protesting against the recent terrorist attacks in Jammu and Kashmir, including the one in which three policemen were killed in Shopian on Monday.

Significantly, the protest came a day after Chief Minister Mufti Sayeed — who also holds the Home portfolio — in a written reply to a question from National Conference legislator Devender Rana, said: “Keeping in view the improving security scenario, the state government will examine the need for de-notifying disturbed areas which have been free from militancy-related incidents for quite some time so as to enable a phased withdrawal of AFSPA from such areas’’.

However, the disruptions by BJP legislators during the Question Hour drew angry protests from the opposition benches as members of NC and Congress stood up, while Independent Legislator Engineer Rashid rushed into the Well.

After nearly 10 minutes when order was restored in the House, Nawang Rigzin Jora of Congress took a jibe on BJP legislators for their opposition to revocation of AFSPA when Chief Minister Mufti Sayeed said it would be revoked. Also drawing their attention towards continued incursions by Chinese troops into Ladakh region, he asked “as to where is the person with 56-inch chest”, in apparent reference to Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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