The opposition Bharatiya Janata Party on Tuesday said its cooperation for the budget session of the Uttarakhand assembly would be conditional to the Speaker acceding to its request to raise issues like an alleged nexus between the government and the mining and land mafia.
A day ahead of the session, the belligerent stance adopted by the BJP indicated that proceedings in the House could be stormy. However, the ruling Congress is unlikely to face difficulty in passing the budget as it has 35 members in the 71-strong House while the BJP has 28.
“We are all for running the House smoothly. But that will only be possible if the Speaker accepts our request to force the government to answer our questions relating to various issues and projects,” said Ajay Bhatt, the BJP’s Leader of Opposition in the House.
The BJP will raise the issue of those in power having an alleged nexus with the mining, land and liquor mafia. “The government’s failure to deal with the deteriorating law and order situation is also on top of our agenda,” Bhatt told Hindustan Times.
“We will corner this government not just for its failure on the front of governance and in tackling the rehabilitation and reconstruction after the 2013 floods,” he said.
Bhatt said the BJP would have no reason to create a ruckus if the Speaker allowed debates on issues raised by the opposition and directed the government to answer queries. “We are forced to repeatedly stall the proceedings when the government shies away from debates on issues we raise,” he said.
“What option are we left with if ministers either try to fudge our queries or we draw a blank as many of them come to the House completely unprepared?”
Speaker G S Kunjwal urged the BJP, the state’s only opposition party, to maintain order in the House so that proceedings could be conducted smoothly during the 10-day budget session.
He also held a meeting with members of the legislature parties of the BJP and ruling Congress on Tuesday. “During the meeting, I urged the members of the BJP legislature party to maintain order in the House and raise issues strictly under the rules,” he said.
“I also assured them such an approach would get them my full support during the budget session.”
Any effort to disturb the proceedings “always goes against the interests of the opposition”, Kunjwal said. Creating a ruckus deprives the opposition of the right to question the government on development issues, he added.
Stalling the proceedings during the budget session would mean the government would have its way and pass the budget without a debate, Kunjwal contended.