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Jharkhand: Day One of the Monsoon Session sets the tone for a stormy affair

BJP raises Leader of the Opposition issue during the first day of Jharkhand Vidhan Sabha

Ranchi, September 3: The Monsoon Session of Jharkhand Assembly started on Friday amid uproar and slogan shouting by the opposition BJP.

BJP which is the main opposition party raised the issue of chair of the leader of the opposition for their legislature wing leader Babulal Marandi during the condolence motion.

The BJP MLAs said that since Babulal Marandi is the leader of the legislature wing of BJP therefore he should be asked to read the condolence motion, but Speaker Ravindranath Mahto had called Chief whip of BJP Biranchi Narayan to read the motion which was objected by the BJP MLAs.

In his inaugural address, Assembly Speaker Ravindranath Mahto said that after the second wave of Coronavirus this is for the first time that the house has assembled. He said that in this pandemic everyone has lost their loved ones but the danger has not been yet averted but to dispense its responsibilities the house has been convened.

The Speaker said that the nation is celebrating the 79th anniversary of the Quit India Movement. He said that the movement is a milestone in the history of the freedom struggle movement of the nation as for the first time Mahatma Gandhi gave the slogan of Do or Die. He said that the day was also about giving honour and respect to Mahatma Gandhi and other freedom fighters who made their sacrifices for the sake of the Indpendence of the nation.

The Speaker said that all should respect democratic values and parliamentary traditions. Further, there is also a need to rise to the expectations of the people and fulfill the promises which have been made to them.

Meanwhile, the ongoing controversy over the appointment of Babulal Marandi as the leader of opposition surfaced on the first day of the Monsoon session of the assembly when the BJP, the main opposition party,  did not read out the condolence proposal in the assembly. The BJP’s refusal, in fact, set the possibility of the tussle which the House will witness during the session.

When Speaker Rabindra Nath Mahto invited BJP chief whip, Biranchi Narayan, to read out the condolence message, BJP legislator from Hazaribagh Manish Jaiswal restrained him saying he should not do it as the BJP legislature party leader (Babulal Marandi) was present in the House.

Thereafter, the House was adjourned till Monday 11 am.

Earlier, when the proceedings started at 11.08am leaders of different political parties in the House condoled the death of former chief minister of UP Kalyan Singh, Olympian Milkha Singh, Bollywood star Dilip Kumar besides several local leaders including Vishnu Bhaiya, Simon Marandi, Niel Tirkey besides others.

Prior to this the speaker declared names of members of the business advisory committee and a list of presiding officers to run the House in the absence of speaker. The business advisory committee comprises speaker Rabindranath Mahto as its chairman while the list of members of the committee includes chief minister Hemant Soren, parliamentary affairs minister Alamgir Alam, agriculture minister Satyanand Bhokta, senior BJP leader C.P.Singh, Ajsu leader Sudesh Mahto and senior independent leader Saryu Roy.

The list of special invitees of the committee includes Champai Soren, Rameshwar Oraon, Stephen Marandi, Lobin Hembrom, Nalin Soren, Neelkanth Singh Munda, Pradeep Yadav, Aparna Sengupta, Vinod Singh, Purnima Singh and Ramchandra Chandravanshi.

The list of presiding officers include the names of Stephen Marandi, Ramchandra Chandravanshi, Sita Soren and Naman Vixel Kongari.

On the first day of the week-long monsoon session on Friday, Jharkhand Assembly proceedings were held for barely half an hour during which customary condolence messages were read amid an uproar by the Opposition protesting against the Speaker for not recognising Babulal Marandi as leader of the BJP legislature party. 

The House was adjourned till Monday.

MLA Sudesh Kumar Mahato said that the time chosen by Bhanu Pratap Shahi to raise the issue of Leader of Opposition during the condolence preamble was wrong. The preamble of condolence is the dignity and tradition of the House. If Bhanu Pratap Shahi had to keep his word, he could have taken the Speaker’s time. He didn’t do it right.

Let us tell you that on the first day this year, tributes were paid to people who died due to Corona and other reasons. During this, after Vis President Rabindra Nath Mahto, all the MLAs including Chief Minister Hemant Sorne paid tribute to the dead after reading condolence messages one by one. This was followed by two minutes of silence. During this, CPI-ML MLA Vinod Kumar Singh said that in April, May, June, Corona snatched many health workers, doctors, journalists and policemen of the state from us. Despite this, neither the Central Government nor the State Government has given any compensation to the dependents of such deceased. True tribute to such dead will happen only when their dependents get compensation. MLA Saryu Rai also reiterated Vinod Singh’s point. After this, a silence of two minutes was observed and the proceedings of the assembly came to an end. Now the session will run from Monday.

Chief minister Hemant Soren, after walking out of the Assembly, did not comment on the BJP’s protests, but said that the Opposition should ensure the House was run in a meaningful manner.

The monsoon session will have five working days and will end on September 9 during which the state government is expected to introduce a Bill to mandate appointment of 75 per cent locals in the private sector. On September 6, the state is scheduled to table its first supplementary budget for the 2021-22 fiscal and is also likely to host a special session to debate and discuss caste- based census, which several Opposition parties across the country are demanding  ahead of this year’s nationwide census.

Congress, which is part of the ruling coalition comprising JMM and RJD, has on the other hand  announced to pursue 27 per cent reservation to OBCs  in the state. 

The party’s Jharkhand minder R. P. N. Singh said, “We will try to move a resolution for 27 per cent reservation to OBCs in the state government jobs. This was part of our election manifesto in the 2019 Assembly polls. We are also in touch with our coalition partners and are hopeful that all ruling and Opposition parties will be on board.”

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