By Praveen Dwivedi
Bhopal, Sep 16 (SocialNews.XYZ) The Madhya Pradesh Assembly's scheduled five-day Monsoon session was adjourned sine die on Thursday, two days before it was scheduled to end.
Beginning on September 13, the house had, apart from usual business - welcoming new President Droupadi Murmu, paying tributes to Shankaracharya Swami Swaroopanand Saraswati, who breathed his last on Sunday and some others, hardly functioned for five-six hours for debates.
As it assembled for the third day on Thursday, Leader of Opposition Dr. Govind Singh called for an adjournment motion to discuss an audit report on alleged irregularities in the nutritious meal scheme. Some other Congress members backed his demand, following which state Parliamentary Affairs minister Narottam Mishra said that Chief Minister Shivraj Singh Chouhan has already made a statement over the issue a day ago.
Meanwhile, Congress' tribal legislator, Panchlal Medha, moved towards the Speaker's podium, saying that he wanted justice over the ill-treatment meted out to him on the previous day.
He alleged that he was stopped by policemen at the entrance of the Assembly complex and suffered injuries on his hand during a "scuffle" with them. Other Congress leaders also joined Medha, following which the ruling party lawmakers also approached the Speaker's podium.
Amid slogan-shouting and noisy scenes, Speaker Girish Gautam hurriedly transacted the listed business and adjourned the House sine die.
On the second day, the session was also adjourned soon as members of both ruling and the opposition parties sparred over alleged financial irregularities in Centre-sponsored nutrition scheme. The opposition levelled a series of allegations on the Chief Minister and walked out of the house before Chouhan stood to make his reply.
Asked by IANS why the five-day session concluded in three days, during which proceedings lasted for a few hours only, the Speaker said that the trend of shrinking number of days of house sittings is "setting a wrong precedent," which is jeopardising the importance of the Assembly.
"The way the legislators have started behaving in the house, it seems they are not serious towards their responsibilities to the people who sent them to the House," Gautam said.
He also said the the primary business of the house is for debate, discussion and seeking work reports of the government, however, some MLAs are "using it for their TRP system".
"Opposition has right to raise questions, but doesn't mean that they would stop Chief Minister or the other Ministers from submitting replies on queries on subjects. Who will be allowed to speak or how much time one will speak, only the head of the house can decide it, not anyone else, be it ruling party or the opposition," Gautam said referring the Congress legislators' bid to stop CM Chouhan from giving his reply over alleged financial irregularities in the nutrition scheme for women and girl students.
Asked why only the opposition should be held responsible for not letting the House function and does the ruling party share the same responsibility, the Speaker said: "See, the opposition has main role in the house. Be it any party's government, the ruling party will always want to conclude the session in minimum days because they would have to give their work reports. The ruling party would want just to get the Bills passed by the house. But, the opposition has a crucial role to force the ruling party to give a reply and have a healthy debate on subjects and therefore, the opposition is more responsible for concluding five-day long session in three days."
Before the session began, Govind Singh had said that the Congress MLAs want a healthy debate and will fully co-operate in running of the house. Then, the opposition had even attacked the ruling BJP for calling the session just for five days.