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House adjourned over discussion on crop damage

Last Updated: Thursday, February 21, 2013 - 22:23

Bhopal: Madhya Pradesh Assembly was adjourned today for half-an-hour following ruckus by Opposition Congress during the Question Hour for holding discussion on the issue of hailstorm and frost affected crops hitting farmers.

The trouble began when Mahendra Singh Kalukheda raised theissue of frost and hailstorm affected crops in the state through a question and other Congress members also joined him demanding immediate discussion under rule 130 on the issue.

The Congress members rushed to the well of the House demanding immediate discussion on the issue and started raising slogans against the government.

The situation became more charged when Kalpana Parulekar (Congress) alleged that she was in possession of a CD in which `patwaris` were purportedly saying that they have directives in writing from the top not to show more than 25 per cent damage to the crops.

Despite repeated requests from Speaker Ishwardas Rohani to the agitating members to go back to their seats, the Congress members continued with their protest.

The Congress members did not relent even when Parliamentary Affairs Minister Narottam Mishra and Urban Development Minister Babulal Gaur said that the government was ready for the discussion even under rule 130, instead of rule 139, following which the Speaker adjourned the House for half-an-hour.

Later, talking to reporters in the Assembly`s press room, Kalukheda, while justifying Congress protest on the issue, said that the government accepted their demand to hold discussion under rule 130 only after Opposition`s vociferous protest.

He said that nearly 50-70 per cent crops suffered damages in majority of the districts in the state due to frost and hailstorm, while at some places the damage was more than 90 per cent and the government was not sensitive on the issue.

Kalukehda also cited the directives given by the government to cover only 25 per cent damaged crops in the survey, in support of his charge.

He alleged that concerned officials were conducting survey of the damaged crops by sitting in their offices only instead of visiting the affected areas.

Kalukheda said that under rule 130, any issue of public importance can be discussed in the House.

But Gaur said that rule 130 limits the scope of the discussion to a specific issue, while under 139 discussion can be held on other relevant issues also.

However, the Parliamentary Affairs Minister later told reporters that despite the government stating that it was ready for the discussion under rule 130, the Congress was more interested in creating ruckus in the House and was not serious on the issue.

"Since they don`t have any issue against the government they are creating ruckus in the House," Narottam Mishra said.

The government has provided Rs 106.82 crore to the affected 35 districts for distributing compensation, he said.

Under the central government`s rule, no compensation is applicable if the damage to the crop is between 25-50 per cent, while the state government has relaxed this rule too and is paying Rs 11,000 per hectare as damages to the affected farmers, he added.


First Published: Thursday, February 21, 2013 - 22:23

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