It may be a House packed with first timers and the leader of House a debutant himself, but chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar wants to improve parliamentary practices in Vidhan Sabha.
In his maiden address in the assembly, Khattar spoke about the need to have longer sittings of the House and indicated the will to increase the same. "Haryana has registered comparatively less number of sittings from 2000 to 2010, which is a matter of concern as the average comes to 10 sittings per year.
Contrary to this, there are states where the number of sittings range from 31 to 40 a year," he said.
Congratulating the newly-elected speaker of Haryana Vidhan Sabha, Kanwar Pal Gujjar, the chief minister said though maximum number of legislators, including himself, had been elected for the first time, they should get equal opportunity to speak. Similarly, it was for the first time that a maximum number of 13 women members had been elected to the House. Apart from this, MLA Sukhwinder was the youngest MLA in the House.
Having heard thus, the House saw exchange of pot shots among the MLAs belonging to treasury and the Opposition benches. Former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda was the first one to speak, who said it was indeed a welcome initiative to increase the sittings of the House as there was no such tradition before the Congress rule.
Apparently referring to the din in the House at the behest of Opposition MLAs belonging to the INLD and BJP, Hooda went on say that there should be constructive suggestions and healthy debates, though there were instances when these were not there and the House saw tense moments.
On this, parliamentary affairs minister Ram Bilas Sharma said Khattar had set an example by urging the speaker to increase the sittings of the House and the House would not see any tense moments given the backing of such a large number of MLAs the chief minister had. Former speaker Kuldeep Sharma, at this point quipped that Khattar would never be without tension as long as he (Ram Bilas Sharma) would be there.
Independent MLA from Kalayat, Jai Prakash held that there should be more sittings of the House as the Independents who defeated the candidates of all the political parties, too, deserved time to speak in the assembly.
When some MLAs sought more sittings as there were several young first timers, Hooda sent the House in splits when he said in chaste Haryanvi "Jawano ko yaad rakhna chahiye ke har budhha bhi kabhi jawan tha. (The youngsters must remember that all the elders too were young at some point in time)".