Statement made by the Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur in media about section 118 of the HP Land tenancy act became reason for opposition to stage a walkout in the state capital on day 1 of the budget session in Vidhan Sabha. Speculating that the state government wanted amendment in 118, the opposition had demanded a discussion on the same under Rule 67 of the HP Vidhan sabha. But were denied the same. Dissatisfied with the speaker’s decision they walked out of the house raising slogans against the government.
However later the Chief Minister clarified that the intention of the government is not make nay amendment in section 118 of the act. “Neither have we ever said this,” stated Thakur. He said that the state government looks at Power , Tourism and Industry sector with hopes of future prosperity. “We feel that these sectors shall contribute towards the growth of the state. And it is important that to promote the same few things should be thought upon. Easing section 118 is one of them. I am myself not sure that what sort of amendments should be done. Therefore wanted to take the matter in public domain for suggestions and ideas ,” he added. He said the opposition is making a issue out of nothing and is wanting discussion on something which has not been done yet. He said that the government even urges to invite suggestions from the opposition in this matter. “But the opposition without even listening walked out, “he added. He said changes in the act had been made in earlier times too. Condemning he added that it was not always important that only for the sake of politics such actions should be taken by the opposition.
“Walk out without any issue is playing with tax payers money,” stated Suresh Bhardwaj, Education minister of the state.
Rakesh Singha sole MLA from the left said it was true that only after the CMs statement in media doubts were raised that section 118 is to be amended. He said that the house should device a way wherein if any such process is being initiated, then all stakeholders (Government, Opposition) should be taken into confidence. He said section 118 was provisioned in the act with the objective of safeguarding the interests of the farmers in the state. Sighting a case of JP group he said that in previous times too, companies investing in the state were allowed relaxation in section 118, but they misused it. “Therefore if the CM makes a statement that issues like section 118 would not touched without a discussion in the house, I shall be satisfied,” he summoned.
What is rule 67?
Rule 67 in Chapter XI (adjournment motions) states ‘Subject to provisions of rules, a motion for adjournment of the business of the house for the purpose of discussing a definate matter of urgent public importance may be made with the consent of the speaker.
Why was the opposition motion turned down by the speaker?
Speaker said “Generally speaking subject matter of an adjournment motion must have direct or indirect relation to the conduct or default on the part of the government and must be in nature of criticism of the action of the government either for having done some action- it is very important to mention either for having done some action – or for having omitted to do some action which was urgently necessary at the moment. An adjournment is not admissible unless these was a failure on the part of the government to perform the duties enjoined by the constitution and the law.”
Since Government has made no changes in section 118 of HP land tenancy act, therefore the adjournment motion was not acceptable, he added.