SRINAGAR: In an unprecedented move, both houses of J&K legislature were on Wednesday adjourned sine die a week ahead of scheduled close of the Budget session after commotion and uproar in the houses during which opposition members threw furniture and mikes and one of NC legislators and BJP minister came close to blows over Chief Minister Mehbooba Mufti’s remarks that those opposing Article 370 were “anti-nationals”.
As the Assembly met in the morning in Jammu, Leader of Opposition (LoP) and former CM Omar Abdullah sought clarification from Speaker Kavinder Gupta whether he had expunged the remarks of CM Mehbooba Mufti that those opposing Article 370 were “anti-nationals” from records of the house and at what time CM would give clarification on her stand.
The Speaker in his response said he had gone through the records and CM did not mean what has been said over her remarks on Article 370.
"After examining the record I have found that there are elements, who use article 370 to vitiate atmosphere in the valley and CM didn’t refer to us (BJP) as anti-nationals,” he said and directed continuation of proceedings of the house.
It infuriated the opposition NC, Congress and Valley-based legislators, who chanted anti-government, anti-BJP and anti-PDP slogans and stormed into the well of the House.
There was total chaos in the house with some opposition members uprooting mikes and throwing chairs. As the marshals tried to restore peace, some agitating members clashed with them also. The NC legislator Mohammad Akbar Lone and BJP minister Lal Singh nearly came to blows. However, the timely intervention of the marshals prevented the situation from taking an ugly turn.
Amidst uproar and commotion, Speaker adjourned the house for half an hour.
Nothing changed when the house met again. The opposition members again stormed into the well of the house and demanded that CM should give a statement.
The opposition members continued their protests amidst sloganeering like “Martial law nahi chalega”, “Zor Zabardasti nahi chalegi”, “RSS agenda hai hai’, “Pellet Sarkar hai hai’ and “Qatil Sarkar hai hai’.
As they refused to budge from their demand, Speaker adjourned the house sine die, a week ahead of the scheduled closure date of budget session of the Assembly.
The budget session of the State Assembly, which began on January 2, was to end on February 7.
This is for the first time the Assembly has been adjourned sine die without finishing the rest of the business of the house.
CM Mehbooba had on Monday said that those opposing Article 370 were “anti-nationals”.
The Assembly had witnessed commotion yesterday also after Speaker initially expunged CM’s remarks from record of the house on request of BJP MLA Rajiv Jasrotia. He, however, later retracted saying he will go through the records and expunge the anti-national word if found used in CM’s speech.
After the house was adjourned sine-die, the opposition legislators staged a sit-in outside the CM’s secretariat amidst chanting of anti-government slogans.
They termed Speaker’s order of adjourning the house sine die ahead of scheduled time as “murder of the democracy”.
CPI (M) State Secretary and MLA Kulgam said the Speaker’s decision to adjourn the house sine die is a “serious matter and harmful for democratic process in the state”.
“The speaker didn't take into consideration the aspirations and concerns of the members. The whole episode makes it clear that coalition partners are at loggerheads and it is the alliance for the chair and not for protecting JK’s special status and offering a dignified life to people,” he said.
The upper house of state legislature – Legislative Council – was also adjourned sine die by the chairman Haji Inayat Ali after din in the house during which members threw furniture, papers and broke mikes over reported expunging of CM’s remarks on Article 370 by Legislative Assembly Speaker.
A Congress legislator Jugal Kishore suffered injuries in the right eye during the unruly scenes in the LC.