Congress MLAs walk out of Gujarat Assembly over tribal issues

Congress MLAs staged a walk out from the Gujarat Assembly session on Thursday after their demand to extend time to discuss tribal development and forest rights issues was not granted by the Deputy Speaker.

PTI| Updated: Mar 19, 2015, 16:33 PM IST

Gandhinagar: Congress MLAs staged a walk out from the Gujarat Assembly session on Thursday after their demand to extend time to discuss tribal development and forest rights issues was not granted by the Deputy Speaker.

During the discussion on budget allocation for tribal development and forest rights department today, Congress party's chief whip Balwantsinh Rajput sought extension of the pre-decided time to discuss issues plaguing the huge tribal community of the state.

However, Forest, Environment and Tribal Development Minister of State Mangu Patel, who had started giving reply on the budgetary allocation after the debate, protested granting further time to the Opposition party.

Patel asked the Deputy Speaker Atamaram Parmar to protect his right to speak before the State Assembly members.

Meanwhile, Rajput clarified that he made the request to ensure that appropriate time is to be given to the issues of tribal development.

However, Parmar did not consider his request and denied to give any further time, following which, the Congress party MLAs started slogan-shouting and walked out of the House within a few minutes.

Later talking to reporters, Congress MLA from Bhiloda Assembly seat- Anil Joshiara- said that their party chief whip Rajput had raised the demand to extend the discussion time.

"Our whip Balwantsinh Rajput requested to extend the time during discussion as the given time to discuss the tribal development issues was less and we have already made a request about it before the state government and the Deputy Speaker," Joshiara said.

Joshiara has alleged that the state government, though, allocate funds to the tribal development department, but it does not monitor its spending properly.

"There are various issues of tribal development. The state government allocated a fund of Rs 15,000 crore to the tribal development, but has it been used or not. The state government has not been monitoring it," said Joshiara.

"So many posts are not filled up in the tribal development department, affecting its working," he said.

During the Congress MLAs walk out today, Leader of Opposition (LoP) in state assembly Shankarsinh Waghela and other senior party leader Shaktisinh Gohil were not present.