‘Stormy’ LA Session From Today

Srinagar, Sept 30: The 10-day autumn session of the state legislature opens in the summer capital on Monday amid tight security arrangement in and outside the legislature complex.

With the expectation of the short session being stormy, the ruling coalition partners – National Conference and Congress – held a meeting at the International Convention Centre Sunday evening to finalize their floor strategies in the two houses. “Certain key issues and policy matters were likely to be discussed during the meeting at which an effort would be made to forge a consensus between the coalition partners.

Sources said the chief minister, Omar Abdullah, was hosting a dinner in honor of the legislators at the SKICC to give final touches to the preparations of anticipation of a stormy session.

The opposition Peoples Democratic Party legislators are also meeting at the residence of party patron, Mufti Muhammad Sayeed, here this evening. Party sources said that apart from seeking opinion of members on various issues, the legislators would be briefed about the issues to be raised during the session. The BJP legislature party is also meeting in Jammu this evening to chalk out its strategy for the session, sources said.

Sources said the empowerment of sarpanches and panches, shortage of cooking gas and several other issues would be raised during the legislature session. The opposition PDP is likely to corner the government on various issues, including the LPG, threat perception of elected village heads, corruption and governance deficit.

The coalition partner, Congress, may cause anxious moments for National Conference over the issue of application of amendment 73 and 74 of the Indian Constitution about the empowerment of panchayat members in the backdrop of a bill opposition PDP has said it would bring. The National Conference is opposed to the move. However, sources said, the Assembly secretariat had not received any such bill from the PDP yet.

The Assembly speaker, Muhammad Akbar Lone, has already held a series of meetings with the legislators as well as officials to ensure smooth conduct of the session. He has asked the government to ensure that ministers remained present in the House and also urged the members to help conduct the proceedings smoothly. The Assembly is likely to take up 68 Bills for consideration while it has so far received 511 starred and un-starred questions.

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