Ruling Coalition Lawmakers Wash Dirty Linen In House

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Srinagar, June 10: At a time when the ruling People’s Democratic Party-Bharatiya Janta Party alliance is struggling to overcome controversies, particularly those surrounding proposed allotment of land for Sainik Colony and construction of townships for Pandits, the lawmakers from the twin parties are busy washing dirty linen in public, leaving the government embarrassed.
For the past few days, the House has been witnessing unusual uproars, when MLAs from the ruling parties frequently locked-horns with ministers from their own camps.  On Friday, it was the turn of MLCs from BJP to storm the well, exactly a day after similar protests from their party counterparts in the Legislative Assembly.
A day after the government spokesman Naeem Akhter said it won’t allow ‘Abhinav Gupt cave’ yatra, ruling BJP legislators in the Upper House said that disallowing yatra is “religious interference”.
Ruling BJP MLCs- Ramesh Arora, Ashok Khajuria and Vibodh Gupta- created uproar in the Upper House.
“Banning Abhinav Gupt yatra is like banning Baba Nund Reshi,” BJ MLC Ramesh Arora said.
Last month, it was PDP MLAs contesting ministers from their own party over National Food Security Act (NFSA).
As the Minister for Consumer Affairs and Public Distribution (CAPD), Choudhary Zulfikar Ali, was responding to questions of National Conference’s Ali Muhammad Sagar, PDP MLA from Sonawar, Muhammad Ashraf Mir intervened only to train guns towards minister belonging to his own party.
Before Sagar would complete his point, Mir said the procedure adopted by the CAPD department for implementation of the scheme is flawed.  “It’s irony that elite persons were covered under the program while the poor and marginalized ones have been left out,” Mir said. Angered by remarks of his own party colleague, Zulfikar reacted: “Let him (Ashraf Mir) speak, he has lost the Ministry.”
While this is the scene in the PDP, rightwing BJP MLAs look more furious.
On Thursday, BJP MLAs including Ranbir Singh Pathania, Dinanath Bhagat and Rajiv Jasrotia protested against non implementation of the official orders and sought answer from the government. Jasrotia was angry over government’s failure to establish a sports stadium in his constituency, Kathua. 
Just a day prior to these protests, BJP MLA Sukhnandan Kumar staged a walk out from the House in protest against no reply of his questions.
Observers said it was for the first time in the political history of post-1947 Kashmir that lawmakers from the ruling parties were “so aggressive against their own ministers, right in the Legislative Assembly that too at a time when the opposition has already been up in arms.”
“As if the criticism from the opposition and separatists was not enough that the MLAs from within the ruling parties are adding to government embarrassment in the Assembly where every development is recorded for posterity as an authentic document,” said a political analyst.
But the ruling PDP is satisfied with the developments. “There has been only such incident this time. It’s very normal. I have myself been MLA, and when your constituency issues are not addressed, you react in a way… But it doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong. It has always been so,” senior PDP leader Muhammad Rafi Mir told Kashmir Observer.
But opposition National Conference has a different take on the issue. It says the “all is well theory as being propounded by the government is actually lull before the storm” and that the coalition was behaving like “Ostrich.”
“All what has been happening in the Assembly has been suggestive of internal conflicts, within the twin ruling parties, getting publicly exposed in a festering way, which should embarrass any government on morals grounds…  But this shameless alliance is trying to portray ‘all is well picture’, which is going to prove a lull before the storm,”  NC Provincial President Nasir Aslam Wani said.
He said not a day has passed when this government didn’t face controversies, particularly over proposed allotment of land outsiders.  “Basically this government is behaving like ostrich till it sells the land to be power,” Wani said.

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