Tribune News Service
Chandigarh, March 15
The introduction of a Bill making protesters pay for the damage to public property caused an uproar in the Assembly today, with the Congress staging a walkout.
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As soon as Home Minister Anil Vij introduced the Haryana Recovery of Damages to Property During Disturbance to Public Order Bill, 2021, Congress members got on their feet, demanding voting on the introduction the Bill.
Why the Bill
- To recover damages caused to properties by persons during an assembly, lawful or unlawful, including riots
- To constitute the claims tribunal to determine the liability, assess the damages and award relief
- Congress’ Raghubir Kadian alleged state government’s intentions in introducing the Bill were ‘wrong’
- He said the Bill had been tabled in the wake of the farmers’ agitation at the Delhi borders
- CLP leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda termed the introduction of the Bill as
- a ‘hasty decision’
- He said the demand for voting on the introduction of the Bill was the ‘fundamental right’ of the Opposition
Assembly Speaker Gian Chand Gupta, however, ruled that there was no provision of division (voting) while introducing the Bill, and the Opposition could debate and demand voting when it would be taken up for discussion during the Budget session. Congress MLA Raghubir Kadian alleged the BJP-JJP government’s intentions in introducing the Bill were “wrong” and alleged the Bill had been brought in the wake of the farmers’ agitation at the Delhi borders. Terming the introduction of the Bill as a “hasty decision”, Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Bhupinder Singh Hooda said the demand for voting on the introduction of the Bill was the “fundamental right” of the Opposition.
Voting ruled out
Assembly Speaker Gian Chand Gupta ruled that there was no provision of voting while introducing the Bill, and the Opposition could debate and demand voting when it would be taken up for discussion during the session.
Vij alleged the Congress was supporting the farmers’ stir, and dared the Opposition to debate and press for voting when the Bill would be taken up for discussion.
Noisy scenes were witnessed with several Congress members, including Aftab Ahmed, BB Batra, Rabhubir Kadian and Jagbir Malik, storming the Well of the House, insisting on voting on the introduction of the Bill.
The Speaker, however, ruled out voting at the introduction stage and said the Bill had already been introduced in the House by a voice vote. Dissatisfied, the Congress members staged a walkout.
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