JAMMU: Opposition parties on Thursday created uproar on the issue of discrimination against and diversion of funds away from remote and inaccessible areas of the state before staging a walkout from the Assembly.
Raising the issue of diversion of funds meant for “bad pocket areas” of the state during question hour, Harshdev Singh of the Jammu and Kashmir National Panthers Party (JKNPP) slammed the government for the alleged discrimination.
Accompanied by two other JKNPP members, Singh walked into the well of the House and started shouting slogans calling for fair treatment for the bad pocket areas.
The JKNPP MLAs were soon joined by their House colleagues from People’s Democratic Party and BJP along with Congress and National Conference members who also raised the issue of funds, allocations and the details of assistance to those constituencies which had the most number of bad pocket areas.
Congress member GM Saroori demanded that the allocations for bad pocket areas be raised from Rs 50 crore to Rs 100 crore.
Responding to the opposition’s charges, Minister for Planning Ajay Sadhotra said that he would not be able to answer the various questions raised in the House as he had recently taken command of the portfolio.
Not satisfied with his reply, JKNPP, BJP, Jammu State Morcha and one PDP member staged a walkout.
Legislative Council also witnessed uproarious scenes after opposition PDP entered into a verbal duel with a minister over recruitment of contractual employees in the gardens and parks department.
In a reply to a question during the question hour, Minister of state for Horticulture, Agriculture and Floriculture, Nazir Ahmad Gurezi said no contractual and ad hoc appointments were made in the department during the past three years.
Murtaza Khan of PDP, however, intervened and said it was a serious issue and claimed that the government has made appointments in the department.
Amid uproar, there was verbal duel between the Minister and PDP members Khan and Mohmmad Ashraf Mir, as members termed the answer as, wrong. Mir also alleged that the engagements were made through back door.
It was then that the Minister for PHE and irrigation Sham Lal Sharma intervened and said that there were separate set of rules for appointing contractual and ad hoc labourers and that of casual/seasonal and need based labourers.
Casual/seasonal and need based labourers have been engaged, but not contractual and ad hoc ones, he said.
Engagement of 311 casual/seasonal and need based labourers have been made in the department of gardens and parks during past three years, he added.
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