Weeks before Haryana Assembly is dissolved, Congress finally occupies main Opposition bench

Bhupinder Singh Hooda with Abhay Chautala on first day of Haryana assembly s Monsoon Session, Friday. (Express photo/Kamleshwar Singh)

Haryana Vidhan Sabha s monsoon session, the last before state goes to polls this year, began Friday with Indian National Congress taking over the prime opposition party s space and Kiran Choudhry occupying the seat of Leader of Opposition. She, however, has yet not been recognised as the Leader of Opposition by the Speaker.

The three-day session that commenced with obituary references witnessed a walkout by the Congress legislators when Speaker Kanwarpal informed Choudhry that her all nine calling attention motions were rejected.

Opposition legislators attacked the Treasury benches on the issues of water scarcity in several areas across the state and also criticised government for not taking adequate measures for the farmers whom it had asked to switch from paddy to maize farming, the deteriorating law and order situation in state and encroachments in Aravali forest area in Faridabad.

Congress legislator Randeep Singh Surjewala, who attended the session after remaining absent in previous several sessions, urged the government to come up with a viable solution for contractual or adhoc employees sitting on protests in Panchkula.

Government employed several persons during the time when government and roadways employees had a standoff. However, all those employed during those days were thrown out soon after the strike ended. I would request the government to accommodate all those employees who were recruited during that time. There are precedents when all previous governments have accommodated such people , Surjewala said.

He also urged the Chief Minister to restore Dadupur Nalvi canal suggesting that it will help in providing adequate water to south Haryana, both for drinking and irrigation purposes.

The opposition leaders, including Congress s Lalit Nagar and INLD s Abhay Singh Chautala, raised the issue of deteriorating law and order, demanding a detailed discussion on the issue in the forthcoming sittings of the House.

Chautala also raised the issue of Sutlej-Yamuna-Link (SUL) canal asking government to apprise the House of the measures being taken to start SYL canal after a Supreme Court verdict on the issue in Haryana s favour.

I would request Chief Minister to inquire how several thousands of acres of forest area in Aravali have been encroached from Faridabad to Surajkund. Somebody has raised boundary wall for 20 acres, somebody has done it for 100 acres and so on. Hills are being razed. Gram Sabha land is being grabbed. NGT had already put a ban on construction in Aravalis, but illegal mining, illegal occupation is being carried out there, Nagar alleged while speaking during zero hour.

Nagar also raised the issue of poor quality of sewerage pipes with inadequate dimensions that are being laid in Faridabad as part of a Rs 150 crore project, requesting government to probe the possible scam.

Chautala-Hooda sit together

During the zero hour, Abhay Chautala and Bhupinder Hooda were seen sitting together and discussing something. That led to reactions from the Treasury benches with parliamentary affairs minister Ram Bilas Sharma citing a few couplets and hinting at increasing proximity between the INLD and the Congress.

Naina Chautala absent

INLD MLA Naina Chautala and three others who are facing disqualification notice for supporting party s splinter faction JJP did not attend today s session.

Privilege motions dropped

Speaker Kanwarpal dropped three privilege motions against three members with the consent of the House. The privilege motions were initiated against Congress MLA Karan Singh Dalal for allegedly misleading the House, Congress MLA Kuldip Sharma for levelling allegations against unnamed members of the House and former MLA Kehar Singh for levelling allegations against BJP MLA Gian Chand Gupta in the previous sessions. The motions were dropped after Ghanshyam Dass, chairperson of the Committee of Privileges, sought more time for submission of final report to the House. Since it is the last session of the current Vidhan Sabha, the Speaker dropped all three motions with the consent of the House.

Obituary references

Haryana Assembly paid tributes to former Goa and Delhi chief ministers Manohar Parrikar and Sheila Dikshit, and soldiers and freedom fighters who died between the end of the budget session in February and beginning of the monsoon session. Chief Minister Manohar Lal Khattar moved the obituary resolutions and paid tributes to Parrikar and three-time Delhi CM Dikshit and others. The House paid tributes to former Haryana minister Sharda Rani, who passed away on May 17 and former minister of joint Punjab Assembly Snehlata, who passed away on March 29.

Tributes were also paid to Flight Lieutenant Ashish Tanwar, who was among the 13 killed in the AN-32 crash in Arunachal Pradesh. Congress leader Kiran Choudhry who led her party in the House and INLD s Abhay Chautala too paid tributes to the departed souls. Towards the end, Speaker Kanwarpal read out the obituary resolutions and paid tributes after which a two-minute silence was observed as a mark of respect to the departed souls.