The third day of the Haryana assembly budget session on Wednesday witnessed an exchange of personal digs between the ruling BJP and opposition MLAs, prompting chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar to intervene for the first time during the calling attention motion on hailstorm-hit crops, followed by a walkout by Congress MLAs.
Pandemonium was witnessed in the House moments after Congress MLA Kuldeep Sharma began to speak on the issue of damage to crops after the Indian Nationa Lok Dal (INLD) MLAs.
As Sharma mentioned the gushes in Yamuna water, agriculture minister OP Dhankar sharply objected asking him what he was talking about. To this, Sharma retorted, “Aapko samajh nahi ayega, aapko mantri bane hue abhi thode hi din hue hain (You would not be able to understand as became a minister just a few days ago)”..
This evoked strong objections from BJP MLAs, including Pawan Saini, Gian Chand Gupta, Mahipal Dhanda and Manish Grover who asked Sharma to stick to the point of hailstorm and not Yamuna waters.
Sharma again took a dig at BJP MLAs, questioning the authenticity of the survey by a team of ministers who had flown to the hail-hit areas a few days ago. When the treasury benches objected to it, Congress MLAs including Karan Singh Dalal, Geeta Bhukkal, Anand Singh Dangi and Kiran Choudhry got up and asked the BJP MLAs to allow Sharma to complete.
The moment health minister Anil Vij saw Choudhry standing, he said that she should not be allowed to speak as she did not know anything about agriculture. This again evoked a sharp reaction among the Congress MLAs who took strong exception to Vij’s remarks.
The Round-2 of verbal spat began when Dalal said that farmers were suffering at the hands of anti-farmer BJP government with higher VAT on diesel and farmers being without urea and power. He also made a remark on the traders’ community which was later expunged. The treasury benches raised their voice against Dalal’s remark and were pacified when Dhankar and finance minister Capt Abhimanyu asked the Congress members not to divide the state on casteist lines or play politics of votebank.
Leader of the Opposition Abhay Chautala asked Capt Abhimanyu not to give lectures, but to stick to the point.
However, Vij again again took on Dalal and other Congress MLAs and said, “Aapko apna ilaaj karvana chahiye kyon ki aap ki baat kisi ko samajh nahi aati. Aur olon par Vat nahi lagta hai (You should get themselves medically examined as no one understands what you speak. And there is no VAT on hails)”.
The Congress MLAs later staged a walkout, saying that they were not satisfied with the ruling party’s replies.