J&K Assembly passes recruitment bill

J&K Assembly passes recruitment bill


PDP MLAs disrupt the proceedings in the legislative assembly by throwing chairs towards the treasury benches while protesting against the Inter-district Recruitment Bill, in Jammu on Friday. PTI Photo

The House witnessed pandemonium with Opposition PDP trying to obstruct passage of the Inter-district Recruitment Bill with its members tearing sheets of business of the House, and throwing chair in the well.

Angry over Speaker Mohmmad Akbar Lone not allowing PDP member Muzaffar Hussain Baigh to speak, they rushed towards the podium and were prevented by the watch and ward staff and marshals, resulting in clashes with them.

With the passage of the bill, an educated youth can now apply for government jobs only in his own district. A youth belonging to the SC community can apply for the same in any of the 22 districts in the state including Kashmir valley.

Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ali Mohmmad Sagar moved a motion in the Assembly for holding discussion on the bill, aimed at banning inter-district recruitments.
The Speaker asked Ashok Kumar (Congress) to speak without inviting the leader of the Opposition in the House, leading to protests.

"It is gross violation of ethics of the House that opposition leader has been totally ignored. You are choking the voice of opposition in J-K. It is autocratic," PDP member Muzaffar Hussain Baigh said.

However, he was overruled by the Speaker.

Congress members Ashok Kumar and Majid Wani, who had brought the amendments in the Bill for eight per cent reservation in jobs to the youths from SC community, batted strongly for this demand.

They were followed by Harsh Dev Singh (JKNPP), who had also moved an amendment for the same in all districts of the state.

Leader of the BJP legislature Party Chaman Lal Gupta too alleged that the Speaker was not allowing him to speak over the important issue. "We as large part of the Opposition are not being allowed to speak. It is unfortunate on the part of Speaker. Why are you (Speaker) gaging the voice of the opposition," Gupta, who was later allowed to speak, said.

"It (the bill) is against the Constitution of India as well as the Supreme Court verdict. You have created a regional problem," he said.

As PDP member Muzaffar Hussain Baigh stood up to speak, the Speaker said "I will not allow you to speak. Nothing will be recorded".

Leader of the House Mehbooba Mufti told the Speaker that he would speak on behalf of the party, but Lone said "...I will not allow you to speak. I will put the bill to vote without discussion".

There was a verbal duel between Baigh and the Speaker. As Lone started the process of putting the bill to vote, entire PDP trooped in to the well, uprooted tables, resorted to anti-speaker and anti-government slogans over the decision to not to allow Baigh to speak.

PDP members tore sheets of business of the House, threw chair in the well and marched towards the Speaker's chair but were prevented by the marshals.

Amid pandemonium, the Speaker pressed the bill for voice vote and declared that the bill was passed. Lone asked the cameramen and photographers in the media gallery to close down their cameras. He then adjourned the House.

Accusing the J-K government of being autocratic, Opposition Leader Mehbooba Mufti said, "This is naked drama of use of force on opposition. What are we 21 representative of people doing here."

Calling it a black day for the state Assembly, Mufti said "Well, is this the best way that the government should have discussed the Bill and passed it. We just wanted to have a discussion. ...I think today was a black day for the state Assembly of J and K because they have discredited even the institution of Assembly." "We were for the bill but we are against the reservation," she said.

In 1987, the NC government led by Farooq Abdullah discredited the Election Commission resulting in emergence of militants in Jammu and Kashmir and now this government has discredited the state Assembly, Mufti alleged.

Lashing out at the state government, Independent member Abdul Rasheed said "this is double murder. It is the murder of the House and that of Kashmiri youth. The government has stabbed in their back by the passage of the bill".

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