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Haryana budget session: Opposition, BJP MLAs exchange heated words

Walkout: Uproar began when speaker rejected Cong, INLD members’ adjournment motion on two issues - SYL completion and anganwadi workers.

india Updated: Mar 07, 2018 12:52 IST
HT Correspondent
HT Correspondent
Hindustan Times, Chandigarh
Haryana budget session,budget session,Opposition
Haryana CM Manohar Lal Khattar buying a pakoda (fritter) from Congress MLAs outside the assembly in Chandigarh on Tuesday. Congress MLAs were selling pakodas during a street protest to ridicule PM Modi’s comparison of selling pakodas with generation of employment opportunities. (Sanjeev Sharma/HT )

It was a usual scene inside the Haryana assembly on Tuesday as the Opposition and treasury benches indulged in a cycle of slinging match bordering on coarseness and sprinkled with attacks targeting individuals. The acrimony and the resultant commotion led to walkouts — a couple of them symbolic — by the Indian National Lok Dal (INLD) and Congress legislators.

Uproar began during the zero hour when assembly speaker Kanwar Pal rejected two adjournment motions on the issues — completion of Sutlej Yamuna Link (SYL) canal and regularisation of anganwadi workers — proposed by the Congress party and INLD.

Leader of Opposition Abhay Singh Chautala and Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Kiran Choudhry persistently argued with the speaker over the rejection.

While the INLD MLAs raised anti-government slogans, the Congress legislators gathered in the well of the House to press home their point. When the speaker told them that SYL matter was in the court, the INLD and the Congress benches argued by saying that the Supreme Court had already given the verdict in Haryana’s favour but the BJP governments, both at the Centre and the state, failed to get the apex court’s order implemented. “It has been more than a year since the Supreme Court answered the presidential reference in our favour,” Kiran Choudhry said.

Chautala took a swipe at the BJP MLAs from southern Haryana saying that INLD was fighting for their cause but the elected representatives of the region were mute on the issue.

“If you (BJP MLAs) make a statement here that SYL does not matter to you, I promise I will not bring up this issue henceforth,” Chautala said.

The Chautala-Barala duel

Chautala entered into an argument with the BJP MLA from Tohana, Subhash Barala, after the latter purportedly passed some remarks on the INLD legislators staging a walkout.

“How can he point finger at us when we were already on our way out of the House. This is not acceptable,” an angry Chautala told the speaker. Barala, meanwhile, clarified that he did not mean to be disrespectful. However, both the BJP and INLD MLAs yelled at each other, adding to the noise levels in the House.

The leader of Opposition made certain oblique remarks about the BJP MLAs, which were later expunged by the speaker. Agriculture minister OP Dhankar, who came to Barala’s defence, condemned the expression used by Chautala. Later, the speaker asked Chautala not to make remarks about an individual.

The Pakoda Politics

Earlier during the question hour, Parliamentary affairs minister Ram Bilas Sharma sparked off a meaningless discussion on Congress’ ‘Pakoda Politics’. Before the proceedings began on Tuesday, the Congress MLAs held a protest outside the assembly by selling pakodas (fritters) to ridicule the comparison drawn between pakoda selling and employment.

Taking a dig at Congress MLAs, the minister pointed out that Congress MLA Karan Dalal was busy frying pakodas in spurious cooking oil ignoring his questions during the question hour. Sharma also made a reference to Kiran Choudhry, who protested by saying that minister lacked good manners. Dhankar too joined the discussion saying he will pray to the almighty to bestow good sense on the Congress MLAs.

“They have paid a heavy price for ridiculing chai wallahs. But, they haven’t learnt their lessons and are now targeting people selling pakodas for a living,” Dhankar said.

When Khattar went for fritters

While the Congress MLAs were busy with their pakoda protest outside, CM Manohar Lal Khattar stopped by to purchase some. “If anyone is getting employment by selling pakodas, it’s a good thing. They had become unemployed, but now they have got the pakoda-selling job ... a good thing,” Khattar said, taking a jibe at the Congress legislators.

First Published: Mar 07, 2018 12:49 IST