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JEHANGIR ALI | 7 OCTOBER, 2015

OPPOSITION UNITES AGAINST MUFTI GOVERNMENT IN JK ASSEMBLY

An inside view of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly


SRINAGAR: The Congress party Wednesday staged a walk-out in the State Assembly after the Speaker rejected their adjournment motion for discussion on the mysterious killings and unemployment in Jammu and Kashmir.

The first three days of the autumn session of the legislature have witnessed ruckus and constant disruptions by the Opposition members, led by the National Conference (NC), who are demanding discussions on Article 370, Article 35 A, beef ban, rehabilitation of flood victims along with other issues.

NC's working president and former chief minister, Omar Abdullah, has accused the Speaker, Kavinder Gupta of "throttling" the voices of the opposition.

Abdullah’s party is boycotting the rest of the autumn session in protest against Speaker Gupta's decision of suspending two NC legislators - Mohammad Altaf Kuloo and Abdul Majid Larni. The duo was marshalled out of the house on Tuesday for creating ruckus and suspended for the rest of the session.

Wednesday's session began on a rather sombre note with the Speaker allowing the opposition leaders led by the Congress to make statements before the Question Hour.

Lauding the Speaker, the Chief Minister Mufti Mohammad Sayeed said the role of opposition is "to oppose, depose and expose".

"It doesn't suit us that the benches of the main opposition are vacant. If we won't debate in the house, then where else? I request you to revoke the suspension orders of the opposition members".

"Democracy is a Battle of Ideas. We are here to debate. Its my request to revoke the suspension of our members", he added.

Earlier, Peoples Democratic Front president and MLA Khan Saheb, Mohammad Hakeem Yasin, requested the Speaker to suspend the question hour and allow a discussion on growing unemployment in the state. CPI (M) leader Mohammad Yusuf Tarigami also requested the Speaker to revoke the suspension order of Kuloo and Larni.

"The chief minister has always advocated talks for resolution of issues. We should not choke voices of this House. Please revoke their suspension, allow us to discuss the issues of public importance and make the government accountable," Tarigami said.

Congress's Bandipora MLA, Mohammad Usman Majid also requested the Speaker to revoke the suspension, "I wish you had adopted this attitude yesterday. The situation would not have come to this point. Please revoke the order," he said, calling the Speaker's attention towards his party's adjournment motion to discuss "law and order" in the state.

When senior Congress leader, GM Saroori, stood up to speak, MLA Langate, Engineer Rashid, who was shouting at the Speaker behind Saroori, entered into a verbal brawl, hurled invectives at Rashid and asked him to stay quiet.

In the meantime, Tarigami returned to his seat and informed the legislators that he has conveyed the sense of the house to the NC leaders. However, on coming to know that the Speaker has turned down their adjournment motion, the Congress legislators shouted slogans, staged a brief protest in front of the press gallery, and walked out of the Assembly to joined the sit-in of the NC legislators.

The Opposition members, wearing black bands, gathered outside the assembly complex on Wednesday and staged a sit-in protest against the suspension of their colleagues. The members shouted slogans against the chief minister and Prime Minister Narendra Modi.

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