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Posted at: Mar 9, 2018, 12:45 AM; last updated: Mar 9, 2018, 12:45 AM (IST)

Noisy scenes aplenty during debate on Governor’s Address

Sushil Manav

Tribune News Service

Chandigarh, March 8

A rancorous debate between members of the opposition and Treasury Benches was witnessed on the fourth day of the Budget session of the Assembly here today.

It started when Congress MLA from Hodal Udai Bhan alleged during the debate on the Governor’s Address that the state government was delaying constitution of the Scheduled Castes Commission and was not doing enough for the welfare of Dalits. This enraged Minister for Social Justice and Empowerment Krishan Bedi, who alleged that the MLA was ignorant of facts.

“Perhaps Udai Bhan had also gone with his leader, who went to his granny’s place in Italy,” said Bedi, in an obvious reference to Rahul Gandhi’s current visit abroad.

A slip of tongue by INLD MLA from Dabwali Naina Singh Chautala, who inadvertently said children aged 12 years old would face death sentence due to a new law the state government proposed on rape brought a majority of BJP MLAs on their feet.

Though she tried to clarify that she did not mean that and was not against death sentence to perpetrators of rape with minors, ruling party members continued targeting her.

“As Minister for Women and Child Development, I will like to enhance her knowledge on the Cabinet decision on the issue of death penalty for rape of minors,” said Kavita Jain. When Naina tried to continue, Jain interrupted her again and asked her not to place wrong facts in the Assembly.

Ministers Bedi and Nayab Singh Saini and MLA Kulwant Ram Bazigar joined the debate and accused Naina of putting wrong facts in the Assembly. The Dabwali MLA read out dates of recent months when women, including minors, had been raped and kidnapped.

“Children are not safe even at home and school. In Rewari district, several girls had to quit studies due to incidents of molestation,” she alleged, triggering noisy scenes from Treasury Benches again.

The BJP members again resorted to shouting when Congress MLA from Jhajjar Geeta Bhukkal alleged that the state government was spending crores on Gita Jayanti, Saraswati and golden jubilee celebrations, but had no money to pay salary to employees.

Finance Minister Capt Abhimanyu asked her to clarify when employees had not been paid their salaries in time. She alleged that despite its slogan of “Sabka saath sabka vikas,” the state government had been neglecting her segment Jhajjar in development.

Bhukkal castigated the government for wrong claims on “improved” sex ratio and said that the Niti Aayog had already exposed the state government’s “falsehood”.

Health Minister Anil Vij clarified amid the ruckus that the Niti Aayog report was based on a sample survey while the government’s figures were real and based on sex ratio at birth data. “We have lodged our objection before the Niti Aayog,” he maintained.


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