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Opposition walks out of J&K assembly over debate on food shortage

Source: PTI
August 24, 2009 16:26 IST
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Pandemonium prevailed in the Jammu and Kashmir assembly on Monday over various issues leading to a walkout by the Opposition, while a Congress member threatened to quit the coalition.

Abdul Majid Wani, a Congress member from Doda assembly constituency, threatened to leave the coalition after he was not allowed to raise supplementary questions relating to the state power scenario by the chair, which took up a discussion on food shortage. "We are public representatives, not bonded labourers. We will leave the coalition if we are not allowed to raise the problems of the people who have chosen us," said an agitated Wani, accusing the government of not taking enough steps to mitigate people's problems.

Another Congress Member of Legislative Assembly Vikar Rasool Wani supported his colleague, prompting Speaker Mohammad Akbar Lone to ask: "Are you also going out of the government?"

Rachhpal Singh of the National Conference was the first to walk out of the house after he too was not allowed to raise supplementaries to a question.

"I have received phone calls from people of my constituency regarding erratic supply of electricity. If I cannot get the problem solved, what am I doing here?" he said, before walking out.

The three-member National Panthers Party also walked out of the house over "unsatisfactory" answers by the state regarding implementation of decisions taken by the district development board.

"We will not tolerate discrimination against Udhampur district. The deputy commissioner of Udhampur is not consulting public representatives in development work. If his removal is not announced in the scheduled cabinet meeting later today, we will stage a 'dharna' inside the house tomorrow," said NPP leader Harsh Dev Singh.

Finance Minister Abdul Rahim Rather and Communist Party of India-Marxist's M Y Tarigami asked the chair to defer the discussion on food shortage, saying it could be held later in the day. However, the Opposition People's Democratic Party, which has moved an adjournment motion on the issue, pressed for initiation of the discussion saying it was an important issue and trooped out of the house.

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