The budget session of the Rajasthan Assembly began today on a stormy note with the opposition Congress, buoyant after winning the bypolls in the state, corning the BJP government over farmers’ issues and law and order situation in the state. Dissident BJP party MLA Ghanshyam Tiwari also targeted the government over extending the time period for a select committee to submit its report on the ‘Criminal Laws (Rajasthan amendment) Bill-2017’, that seeks to protect public servants and judges from prosecution without prior sanction. The Bill was introduced in the House during its last session and referred to the panel following huge opposition by the opposition, rights groups and others. The session’s first day began with Governor Kalyan Singh’s speech highlighting the government’s achievements, including commencement of work of oil refinery in Barmer, construction of toilets, effective implementation of PCPNDT Act to improve sex ratio, setting up of the country’s first skill development university in government sector among others. The governor arrived at the House accompanied by Speaker Kailash Meghwal. When Singh was about to begin his speech, Independent MLA Hanuman Beniwal raised farmers’ issues and “deteriorating” law-and-order condition. He stormed to the well of the House and demanded that loans of farmers be waived by the state government. As soon as the Governor began his speech, Deputy Leader of the Opposition Ramesh Meena also raised the same issue.
Amid the din, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Rajendra Rathore requested the governor to table his speech. The governor mentioned the achievements of the Vasundhara Raje government in various sectors including health, education, agriculture, social security, housing among others, and said that works done have pushed inclusive growth in all sectors. After this, the speaker took up the listed business, under which state home minister Gulab Chand Kataria tabled the Rajasthan Backward Class (reservation of seats in educational institutions in the state and of appointment and posts in services under the state) (amendment) Ordinance-2017.
Kataria also proposed to extend the time period for submission of a report by a select committee on the Criminal Laws (Rajasthan amendment) Bill-2017 till the first week of the next session. Tiwari objected to it saying this was against the rules and the government should inform the House how many meetings were held and what discussions took place regarding the bill. Alleging that the bill was being replace for an ordinance, he said the ordinance has already lapsed and as the government has stated in the high court that it does not intend to bring the law then why does it want to extend the time.
Tiwari had a heated argument with the parliamentary affairs minister and the time for the select committee to submit the report was extended following a voice vote. The House paid last respect to former governors of Uttar Pradesh and Chhattisgarh Banwari Lal Joshi and Dinesh Nandan respectively, former MLAs Digambar Singh, Surendra Singh Rathore, Udai Singh Rathore, Ram Sahay Sonad, Shyama Kumari Sengar and the victims of Sawaimadhopur bus tragedy in which the vehicle had fallen into Banas river.