Embarrassment for Govt: BJP members storm into Well over stadiums

Fayaz Bukhari

Srinagar, June 9: In a major embarrassment to the Government, several members of treasury benches today stormed into the Well of the Legislative Assembly with one of them staging a walkout over the construction of indoor sports stadiums in select constituencies of the State including that of Deputy Chief Minister, Nirmal Singh.
The issue was raised during Question Hour by BJP MLA Shakti Raj Parihar, who alleged that the Government has ignored Doda district while alloting the indoor stadiums for different constituencies of the State.
Parihar was supported by his party colleagues Rajiv Jasrotia, R S Pathania and Independent MLA from Udhampur Pawan Kumar Gupta. While replying to the question, Minister of State for Youth Services and Sports Sunil Kumar Sharma said that 12 indoor halls have been sanctioned for the State under the Prime Minister’s package.
“The criteria for selection of the districts has been by and large on the basis of the non-availability of the indoor halls in these areas and the potential to generate sports activities,” Sharma said.
Not satisfied with the Minister’s reply, Rajiv Jasrotia of BJP targeted the Government saying directions passed by the Speaker and assurances given to members were not being honoured. “What is the relevance of this House then?” he asked.
Jasrotia claimed that he was given an assurance that an indoor sports hall will be constructed in his Kathua constituency. He then stormed into the Well of the House and sat on a dharna. He was joined by his party colleagues R S Pathania, Dina Nath Bhagat and Independent MLA Pawan Gupta.
As Gupta shouted slogans against the Government, the opposition members from National Conference and Congress responded to him. “Yeh inka haal hai, hamara kya haal hoga (This is their fate. What will be our condition)?”, senior NC leader Ali Mohammad Sagar shouted.
Vikar Rasool of Congress said the BJP, which always used to raise the bogey of discrimination against Jammu, has sold out its agenda for remaining in power.
“They (BJP) have been crying discrimination all along. Today, it is their Government but what have they done? They sold out everything to remain in power,” he alleged.
Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh intervened in the matter saying the State Government will take up with the Centre the setting up of similar facilities in other areas of the State as well. “It is the concern of the entire House. Sports have been ignored for the past 67 years. We will approach the Centre for including the left out areas,” he said.
However, not satisfied with the statement made by Singh, Jasrotia staged walk out from the proceedings. He was joined by Congress MLA G M Saroori.
According to the written reply by the Government, out of the 12 indoor sports halls, seven have been allotted to Kashmir valley, three to Jammu division and two to Ladakh region.
While the Indoor hall for Anantnag district has been alloted to the constituency then represented by late Mufti Mohammad Sayeed, in Kathua district, the facility has been given to Billawar constituency represented by Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh.
Finance Minister Haseeb Drabu’s Rajpora constituency has got one of two facilities sanctioned for Pulwama district. The other facility has been earmarked for Tral constituency.
In Baramulla district, the facility will be set up in Pattan constituency represented by Technical Education and Sports Minister Imran Raza Ansari while Handwara segment, represented by Social Welfare Minister Sajad Gani Lone, has bagged the facility in Kupwara district. In Central Kashmir’s Budgam district, the Indoor sports hall will be set up in Soibugh area.