Opposition boycotts minister’s reply in Madhya Pradesh assembly

March 11th, 2008 - 8:02 pm ICT by admin  

Bhopal, March 11 (IANS) The entire opposition in the Madhya Pradesh’s assembly - the Congress, the Communist Party of India-Marxist (CPI-M) and the Samajwadi Party - Tuesday staged a protest sit-in and then walked out as they were unhappy with a minister’s reply on the energy situation. Energy Minister Gaurishankar Shejwar was replying to the debate on the budgetary demands when the opposition protested.

Alleging that Shejwar’s reply did not provide correct information on the number of farmers jailed on charges of power theft, the opposition members shouted slogans, walked up to the well of the house and sat there in protest for about 10 minutes. They then walked out of the house and stayed out till the minister completed his reply.

They also accused the government of not providing regular electricity supply to students though the school examinations had started.

Meanwhile, Shejwar said the power distribution system in the state was being strengthened and not a single farmer was jailed for non-payment of electricity bills.

He also charged the Congress-led United Progressive Alliance (UPA) government in New Delhi with being unjust to Madhya Pradesh by curbing its discretionary quota of power supply from 350 MW to 31 MW and deliberately delaying the implementation of Birsinghpur and Amarkantak units causing shortage of 710 MW.

Earlier, Congress legislators walked out of the assembly accusing another minister of not giving a satisfactory reply to a query.

Senior Congress legislator Sajjan Singh Verma and Prem Chand Guddu raised the matter of the development of the Crystal IT Park in Indore saying the Bharatiya Janata party (BJP) government in the state was not serious about it. They wanted a reply from Industries Minister Jayant Malaiya.

The minister replied to their question, but the Congress members were not happy with it and walked out of the house.

Objecting to Verma’s behaviour, the speaker said he could only facilitate replies to questions and could not force a minister to reply as per the wish of a member.

Verma, on the other hand, said he had the right to express his feelings.

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