The Rajasthan assembly was adjourned amid uproarious scenes on Wednesday with slogan-shouting opposition Congress members throwing the house into pandemonium over several issues including recent crop loss of farmers due to rain.
Speaker Kailash Meghwal was forced to adjourn the house for the day within 15 minutes of start of the day’s proceedings as Congress MLAs – waving placards -- accused the government of failing to provide relief to affected farmers. The opposition was also demanding rollback of a recent power tariff hike.
Last month, a freak weather system dumped heavy rain and hail in 28 of the state’s 33 districts, leaving 34 people dead besides causing extensive damage to standing crop. The Congress has accused the BJP government of failing to provide adequate relief to the affected farmers, a charge the government denies.
Congress legislators led by the leader of opposition Rameshwar Dudi started shouting slogans as soon as the question hour began, leading to trading of charges.
Taking on the Congress, home minister Gulab Chand Kataria asked the opposition MLAs why they didn’t it take part in the debate on power on Tuesday. “It is quite unfortunate the leader of opposition himself did not take part in the debate on power and today he is showing placard,” he said. Parliamentary affairs minister Rajendra Rathore said the opposition was unwilling to listen to the government’s reply.
“(The) BJP government has already released funds for compensation to affected farmers through collectors and it is being distributed,” Kataria added.
The ruling BJP members, in turn, accused the previous Congress government of failing to protect the interest of farmers.
As the din increased, a visibly upset speaker said, “I am quite annoyed over the irresponsible behavior of (the) opposition and adjourn the house till tomorrow (Thursday)”.
He then made a correction and said the house will reassemble on April 6.
Farmers conduct ‘sadbuddhi yagna’ for CM’s change of heart
Bhilwara: A farmers’ body in Rajasthan performed a mock yagna on Wednesday to pray for “good sense” to dawn on chief minister Vasundhara Raje so that she quickly provides succour to thousands of farmers who lost their crops to a bout of freak weather.
The Bharatiya Khetihar and Mazdoor Kisan Congress, which has been demonstrating for the farmers’ issue for last 37 days, performed a ‘Vasundhara Raje sadbuddhi yagna’ outside the collectorate office in Bhilwara.
Hundreds of farmers and several Congress leaders, including veteran Congress leader Devendra Singh, former chairman of the municipal council Om Naraniwal and District Congress Committee (women’s wing) president Madhu Jajoo took part in the yagna.
Last month, vast amounts of standing Rabi crops were hit by two days of untimely rain and hailstorm, primarily in Rajasthan, where 22 of the state’s 33 districts suffered massive farm losses. Reports of suicide by farmers also came in from across the state.
Congress leader Ram Lal Jat said, “(The) government survey revealed that out of 1,904 villages in Bhilwara, (a total of) 1,185 villages suffered more than 51% crop damage by the unseasonal rain and hailstorms, but (the) state has sanctioned only Rs54 crore for (the) victims of Bhilwara in lieu of Rs1,152.40 crore. This is just a cumin (seed) in a camel’s mouth.”
“Our anna-data is suffering without wheat, (but) the government is not providing them wheat at nominal price even though it has a heavy stock in the state godowns. (The) government should come forward to resolve (the) farmers’ problem and provide them necessary goods for their livelihood,” Jat said.
Party spokesman Hemendra Sharma said, “The Bharatiya Khetihar and Mazdoor Kisan Congress’ sit-in will continue till the Rajasthan assembly budget session is over.”