Jaipur: Rajasthan assembly's special session began on Thursday with the Congress vigorously raising issues of cow deaths, atrocities against Dalits, corruption in government departments and failing law and order situation in the state. The session that has been called primarily to ratify the Goods and Services Tax (GST) amendment bill passed by the parliament is likely to remain short.
According to Sources said the house's business advisory committee (BAC) has planned business for just one day (Friday), so the session could be called off immediately after ratifying the GST amendment bill. Nevertheless, the Congress MLAs have planned a foot march to the assembly on Friday to highlight the unusually high number of cow deaths in state cattle shelters in recent months. On day one, the house functioned for merely 18 minutes, as it was adjourned soon after expressing condolences for political leaders who died recently.
Within this short span, the Congress-led opposition was able to voice protest against bovine deaths at Hingonia and other cow shelters in the state, the government's U-turn on CBI probe over alleged rape and murder of a Dalit minor girl from Barmer, corruption at senior levels in health and PHED departments exposed by the anti-corruption bureau and police's failure in nabbing gangster Anandpal Singh.
At the same time, the Congress and most of the opposition parties refrained from raising the issue of Jaipur ex-royal's land dispute with the state government in the house. BSP's Manoj Nyangli, who hails from the Rajput community, was the lone legislator who tried to raise the issue, along with that of demolition of Jaipur temples and cow deaths at Hingonia.
BJP MLA and ex-royal family member Diya Kumari was not present in the house on Thursday. Outside the house, former chief minister Ashok Gehlot said the Rajmahal Palace land dispute episode was symbolic of present government's dictatorial attitude. "Earlier this government tried to grab the lands of Banasthali Vidyapith and the society of Gandhian Gokul Bhai Bhatt in similar manner," Gehlot said. Earlier, as the house began, leader of opposition Rameshwar Dudi asked Speaker Kailash Meghwal for allowing debates on issues raised in house and demanded CBI probe into cow deaths and Dalit minor's rape and murder case. NPP MLA Kirori Lal Meena and Independent MLA Hanuman Beniwal made the same demand.
Congress whip Govind Singh Dotasra later told reporters the government was 'scared' of debating public issues in the assembly. "The government just wants to run away after ratify the GST bill. In public interest, it should run the house for at least 9-10 days," Dotasra said. Ex-CM Gehlot alleged, "Nothing moves without corruption in JDA, Jaipur Collectorate or Jaipur Commissionerate these days. Such is the state of affairs in the capital city right under the CM's nose. I have now begun to doubt if the CM is at all interested in governance."