Dehradun, Sep 23 (PTI) The Congress on Wednesday created a ruckus in the Uttarakhand Assembly, demanding a discussion on the coronavirus situation in the state.
Some members even flung agenda papers towards the chair, resulting in adjournment of the proceedings for half an hour.
However, disruptions continued even after the House reassembled and several Bills were introduced amid the din. Earlier, soon after the Assembly offered tributes to former president Pranab Mukherjee and two ex-MLAs, Congress MLAs led by Kazi Nizamuddin and Pritam Singh rose from their seats and began demanding an immediate debate on coronavirus.
Deputy Speaker Raghunath Singh, who chaired the proceedings in the absence of Speaker Premchand Aggarwal, requested the Opposition members to resume their seats, saying they could speak on the issue later.
However, ignoring the Deputy Speaker's request, the Congress MLAs gathered in front of his chair insisting on their demand.
Kazi Nizamuddin said no subject is more important at present than the COVID crisis and criticised the state government for reducing the duration of the session to just one day.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Madan Kaushik said the duration was reduced due to the pandemic and the meeting of the Assembly's Business Advisory Committee, where the decision was taken, was attended by Deputy Leader of Opposition Karan Mahra and Congress MLA Govind Singh Kunjwal.
This further agitated the Opposition MLAs, who began shouting at the top of their voice. Some members flung pages of the House's agenda for the day towards the chair.
When repeated requests from the chair to resume their seats were ignored, the House was adjourned for half an hour.
When the House reassembled the disruptions began once again.
However, several bills were tabled amid the prevailing din before the assembly was adjourned for lunch.
Earlier in the day, the session began amid strict compliance of COVID guidelines.
The session, originally scheduled to be held from September 23 to 25, was curtailed to one day because of rising cases of coronavirus in the state.
As decided earlier, only MLAs who had tested negative for COVID-19 were allowed to enter the House after thermal screening.
Speaker Premchand Aggarwal and Leader of Opposition Indira Hridayesh were absent as they are undergoing treatment for the infection.
Those who attended the pre-lunch session included Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat, his cabinet colleagues Madan Kaushik, Satpal Maharaj, Arvind Pandey, Subodh Uniyal and minister of state Rekha Arya.
The Question Hour was done away with due to paucity of time and only written replies to questions were given. PTI ALM RDK