Chandigarh, Aug 26 (PTI) In the wake of the coronavirus pandemic, a one-day session of the Haryana Assembly was held here on Wednesday with the House passing 12 bills and paying tributes to the 20 Indian soldiers killed in the Galwan Valley clash.
However, the bills pertaining to reservation for women in panchayats and the state youth in private sector jobs were not introduced. Main opposition Congress 'boycotted' part of the less than three-hour proceedings for not being given time to discuss the 'burning issues' and in absence of any “concrete assurance' to get “various scams” probed by any independent agency.
The assembly witnessed an exchange of sharp words between Deputy Chief Minister Dushyant Chautala and Leader of Opposition Bhupinder Singh Hooda during a heated debate on a bill.
The pandemic had cast its shadow before the session was to begin, with eight legislators of the ruling BJP testing positive for the infection. They include Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar, two ministers and the speaker.
Deputy Speaker Ranbir Gangwa presided over the House proceedings in the absence of Speaker Gian Chand Gupta.
As some Congress and lone INLD MLA Abhay Singh Chautala protested over the short duration of the session, Gangwa said given the “extra ordinary” situation caused by COVID-19, it has been curtailed.
But the assembly will not be adjourned sine die and will be “treated in continuity” and meet again as the situation improves, he said.
The House passed 12 Bills while the Punjab Village Common Lands (Regulation) Haryana Amendment Bill, 2020, was deferred soon after Congress legislators said some of its provisions needed to be clarified.
The bills pertaining to reserving 50 per cent seats for women in panchayats and giving 75 per cent reservation to the state's youth in private sector jobs were not tabled.
Official sources said it was felt as some members were down with COVID and the session was being convened only for a day, legislators will not get sufficient time to debate important legislations. Therefore, the bills were not introduced, they said.
The Haryana Development and Regulation of Urban Areas (Second Amendment and Validation) Bill, 2020, which primarily proposes to make express statutory provisions to clarify certain provisions of the Haryana Development and Regulations of Urban Areas Act, 1975, was passed after nearly 30-minute debate.
Raising objections to provisions of bill, Congress MLA B B Batra said the government gave a “vague definition of vacant land” and demanded that it be referred to a select committee and a comprehensive legislation be brought after that.
Causing embarrassment to his own coalition government, JJP MLA Ram Kumar Gautam said it is well known that officials “take money” due to which unauthorised colonies come up and later the ones who are unable to bribe, bulldozers are used to raze their structures.
He said be it the previous or present governments, both are not above board on this count.
Defending the bill, Dushyant Chautala said comprehensive amendments were aimed at ensuring that illegal colonies do not come up in the state.
Congress leader Hooda then raised the issue of the alleged scam in land deed registries and demanded a CBI inquiry or by a sitting high court judge or matter be referred to a select committee of the House.
At this, Dushyant Chautala launched a fierce attack against the Congress, particularly targeting Hooda, during whose tenure the BJP and JJP had alleged irregularities in land deals.
“Hooda is demanding a CBI inquiry. Many CBI inquiries are already going on in the state. In our government, it is not the case of 'damad ji' (referring to Congress chief Sonia Gandhi's son-in-law Robert Vadra),” he said.
“When we have to take action; we strongly take action wherever irregularities are detected. Did you take action during your 10 years of rule when wrong change of land use (CLUs) were issued,” Dushyant asked.
“You were dictated by what your high command told you because you were given pension by Sonia Gandhi,” said Dushyant.
Earlier, the proceedings of the assembly began at 2 pm and legislators came wearing masks. Changes had been made in the seating arrangements in the 90-member House and only one MLA was occupied a bench.
The session began with the House paying tributes to the prominent personalities who passed away since the Budget session in February-March.
The members also observed a two-minute silence to pay homage to the departed souls.
Tributes were paid to the 20 Indian soldiers who were killed in a violent clash with Chinese troops in eastern Ladakh in June as well as to 'corona warriors' who died in the line of duty.
The House also paid tributes to former MP Governor Lalji Tandon, former Union law minister Hansraj Bhardwaj, Indian classical vocalist Pt Jasraj, former Haryana MLA Mange Ram Gupta and Congress MLA Krishan Hooda. PTI SUN VSD RDK RDK