The Budget session of the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly began on a stormy note today as opposition held protests against the PDP-BJP government and continued sloganeering even when the national anthem was being played, with Governor N N Vohra cutting short his address to both houses of the legislature and leaving amid the pandemonium.
As the Governor entered Central Hall of the Legislature, opposition members from National Conference, Congress, CPI(M) and other Kashmir-based Independent MLAs stood up carrying placards and held protests against the government for its alleged failure on all fronts.
Some of the opposition leaders were also sporting black bands.
The National Anthem was being played when the Governor entered and some of the opposition members, who were holding protests against the PDP-BJP government over the deaths in Kashmir during the unrest in the Valley, continued with their sloganeering. The protestors stopped the sloganeering for some time
Carrying placards, the opposition members tried to disrupt the Governor’s address thrice.
In his speech to both houses of legislature, the Governor prayed for peace and normalcy in the New Year and hoped all members will strive hard to restore brotherhood and amity in each of the three regions of Jammu and Kashmir.
“I will conclude by reiterating my belief that Jammu and Kashmir has a very high potential of being developed as one the leading states. To achieve our goal we need to resolve all disagreements and strive hard to put the state on the path of development,” he said.
He said it is important that this House sets thoughtful standards of political discourse and paves way for narrowing the differences in regard to political and societal issues cutting across party lines.
“If this is done we would succeed in laying foundation of sustainable peace in this state”, he said.
Batting for commencement of Indo-Pak dialogue, he said, “It is important that the Indo-Pak dialogue resumes early.It is imperative that we work towards the resolution of conflicts first within our civil society and then in the polity”.
As pandemonium broke out in the Central Hall, the Governor cut short his speech.
Members of the National Conference and Congress continued their protests and sloganeering when the national anthem was being played twice during the address.
Amidst protests and sudden conclusion of his address, the national anthem was played again and members of the opposition were sloganeering. The Governor also left the venue.
BJP demanded an apology from opposition included Congress and NC in Jammu and Kashmir and asked Congress Chief Sonia Gandhi and Vice President Rahul Gandhi to clarify their stand on disrespect to the national anthem by its members.
“It is most unfortunate that members of opposition disrespected the anthem. This is shameful…It is the first time such a disrespect has been shown to the national anthem in J&K”, BJP MLA Ravinder Raina told reporters here.
(With inputs from PTI)