Monsoon session of Haryana assembly lasts barely three hours in shadow of Covid-19

Deputy speaker Ranbir Gangwa presided over session that began at 2pm and was marred by walkouts by opposition members; chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar and Speaker Gian Chand Gupta skipped the curtailed session as they are undergoing treatment for coronavirus infection
Leader of the opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda and state home minister Anil Vij read out the obituary references soon after the Haryana assembly session got underway on Wednesday afternoon. MLAs were seen observing social distancing during the one-day session.(HT Photo)
Leader of the opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda and state home minister Anil Vij read out the obituary references soon after the Haryana assembly session got underway on Wednesday afternoon. MLAs were seen observing social distancing during the one-day session.(HT Photo)
Updated on Aug 26, 2020 05:45 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Chandigarh | ByHT Correspondent

Chandigarh:The monsoon session of the Haryana assembly lasted barely three hours on Wednesday afternoon before the House was adjourned sine die. Marred by walkouts by opposition members, the curtailed session, which began at 2pm, was held in the absence of chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar, who is the leader of the House, and Speaker Gian Chand Gupta as both of them are undergoing treatment for Covid-19.

The session was originally scheduled to have two sittings, one each on Wednesday and Thursday, but the duration was cut to a few hours after the business advisory committee (BAC) of the assembly met in the morning.

Deputy speaker Ranbir Gangwa presided over the session that began with the leader of opposition and former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda from the Congress and state home minister Anil Vij reading out the obituary references. Hooda and Vij were part of the business advisory committee besides deputy chief minister Dushyant Chautala from the Jannayak Janata Party and parliamentary affairs minister Kanwar Pal of the BJP.

Soon after Gangwa apprised the House of the business advisory committee’s decision to only table the replies of questions and the calling attention motion instead of verbal replies, Congress MLAs Kuldeep Vats and BB Batra opposed the move.

Vij asked the Congress MLAs to respect the decision of the committee in which the Congress Legislature Party leader represented them.

Hooda reiterated that only important bills and supplementary estimates should be laid in the House and the remaining business, including adjournment and calling attention motions, should be kept pending for the next sitting of the assembly whenever it is convened.

Congress MLAs Varun Chaudhary from Mullana and Amit Sihag from Dabwali making a symbolic protest against alleged corruption by writing slogans on masks during the Haryana assembly session. (HT Photo)
Congress MLAs Varun Chaudhary from Mullana and Amit Sihag from Dabwali making a symbolic protest against alleged corruption by writing slogans on masks during the Haryana assembly session. (HT Photo)

Question hour was waived with no discussion on the calling attention motions. Only written replies got tabled for listed questions.

Congress MLA Geeta Bhukkal interrupted the proceedings, demanding that higher education examinations should be put off in public interest, a point Hooda backed, saying the issue raised by her was valid.

Kanwar Pal, who is also the state education minister, said that the Khattar-led BJP government will make appropriate arrangements to ensure exams are held smoothly. “We don’t want these students to get labelled as corona degree holders,” the minister said.

He went on to take a dig at Hooda, saying Congress MLAs were interrupting and not adhering to the business advisory committee’s decision of which the CLP leader is a part. “You are not speaking against the government but against your own leader,” he told the Congress leaders.

Earlier Hooda interacted with Khattar, who is hospitalised in Gurgaon for treatment of coronavirus infection, and assured him of a truncated session amid the Covid-19 pandemic.

LONE INLD LEADER’S OBJECTION

Indian National Lok Dal MLA Abhay Chautala was not impressed. He said that he was not satisfied with the written statement tabled by the government in the two calling attention motions submitted by him.He said that the government did not invite him or any independent legislator for the business advisory committee meeting. “Are you the only ones running the assembly? What about lone MLAs like me?” he said.

“No one is dying of coronavirus here. Why can’t we have a discussion on corruption issues? Why did you call us from so far when all you wanted was a shortened session?” said Chautala, who had requested of a calling attention motion on the issue of registries.

Congress MLA Neeraj Sharma opposed the move to shut down shops on weekends to check the spread of coronavirus.

LAND REGISTRATION AMENDMENT BILL TABLED

The bill to undo a 2017 amendment in the Haryana Development and Regulation of Urban Areas Act was tabled in the House. The amendment has watered down Section 7-A of the Act. The stipulations in Section 7-A pertain to grant of a no objection certificate (NoC) by the town and country planning department before registration of land in notified urban areas.

The amendment bill was tabled in view of large-scale violations in the registration of sale deeds of properties without obtaining NoCs in notified urban areas in Gurugram district.

Narnaund MLA Ram Kumar Gautam said that there should be no ban on the registration of sale deeds.

Rohtak MLA BB Batra said that new stipulations brought by this amendment pertaining to Section 7-A of the Act needed a relook. “ Please review the definition of vacant land under Section 7-A,” Hooda said, supporting Batra.

Some Congress MLAs walked out over the tabling the Haryana Development and Regulation of Urban Areas (amendment) Bill.

The Haryana appropriation bill was the final legislative business of the day tabled in the House by the parliamentary affairs minister after which the assembly was adjourned sine die.

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