Srinagar: Jammu and Kashmir Assembly today witnessed uproar as 14 ruling and opposition MLAs stormed into the Well and then staged a walkout in the House, demanding restoration of reservation in promotion in government jobs in the state.
The issue was raised by four Congress members, led by Nawang Rigzin Jora, who demanded the government take steps to ensure that the reservation policy in promotion is restored.
Besides two members of the National Conference, the Congress MLAs also got support from ruling BJP and PDP members whose constituencies have significant number of voters from reserved categories.
Speaker Kavinder Gupta, however, did not pay any heed to their demands, prompting them to storm into the well of the House and stage a dharna.
Jora even conducted mock proceedings in the Well, allowing the protesting members to speak on the issue.
The MLA from Leh said reservation in promotion was being ended "by subterfuge as the state counsel had not put forth any arguments (before the High Court)".
"Around 50 per cent population of the state fall under reserved categories. Let there be a one-hour discussion on it today," he demanded.
Law Minister Abdul Haq Khan said that since the matter was pending before the Supreme Court, it cannot be discussed in the Assembly.
Deputy Speaker Nazir Ahmad Gurezi, who was not presiding over the House at that time, supported the protesting MLAs and asked if the media could discuss the issue, why not the assembly.
"The central government amended the Constitution to restore reservation. Why does not the government here do it by extending a Presidential order?" he said.
The Law Minister, however, stuck to the stand that the House can deliberate on the matter only after the apex court has delivered its verdict.
The members then staged a walkout.