Opposition demands longer sessions, walks out

The legislators of opposition parties, including Indian National Lok Dal (INLD), BJP and Haryana Janhit Congress (HJC), staged a symbolic walkout during the first day of the budget session of Haryana Assembly' on Friday. The opposition parties were demanding an increase in the duration of the Assembly sessions on the pattern of Punjab and Himachal Pradesh.

Raising the issue of short duration sessions, INLD legislator Ashok Arora who represented the party in the House in the absence of party chief Om Prakash Chautala, said, "We urge the Speaker to kindly increase number of days of the sessions. Punjab Assembly runs sessions as long as 40 days and Himachal Pradesh Assembly has sessions as long as 60 days. Haryana should also adopt the same policy".

Various opposition MLAs, including BJP's Anil Vij, also raised the same issue. However, countering the Opposition demand, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Randeep Singh Surjewala said, "None of the Opposition members who are a part of the Business Affairs Committee of the Assembly raised such an objection during the BAC meeting in which the session schedule was finalised. They should have raised such an objection at that time."

Despite an assurance given by the Speaker, Kuldeep Sharma, that he has noted down the Opposition's suggestion, the INLD, HJC and BJP members staged a walkout. Earlier, before the Assembly met, the INLD held its legislature party meeting and planned the strategy for the budget session. The meeting was presideed over by Om Prakash Chautala's younger son Abhay Chautala and party's state president Ashok Arora.

After the day's proceedings got over, Arora told the media that INLD will be questioning the state government on various issues in the coming days. "Be it deteriorating law and order, Robert Vadra-DLF land deal, poor electricity and water situation, price rise and various other issues; the state government will have to answer each and every question raised by us," he added.

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