Uttarakhand Assembly Budget session to start tomorrow

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Dehra Dun, Mar 2 (UNI) The Budget session of the state assembly, expected to witness fierce clashes between the treasury benches and the opposition on various issues, will commence tomorrow.

State Assembly Speaker Harvansh Kapur yesterday convened an all-party meeting to ensure smooth and peaceful conduct of the session. However, Leader of the Opposition Harak Singh Rawat, who is in Delhi, could not attend the meeting.

According to official sources, the Governor will deliver the inaugural address tomorrow and Chief Minister Maj Gen (retd) B C Khanduri would present the budget in the Assembly on March 10. The House is expected to sit till March 20.

Meanwhile, the Opposition Congress and the Bahujan Samaj Party (BSP) are all set to put the government on the mat on issues like rising unemployment, issuance of caste certificates and 'lal batti' (the increasing number of people authorised to use red beacon lights on their car, which the BJP had made an issue in the 2007 assembly election). The delimitation issue is also expected to figure in the House deliberations.

Along with the Congress, the Uttarakhand Kranti Dal, which is supporting the government, will raise these issues.

Talking to UNI over phone, Mr Rawat said his party would take the government to task on the issue of development and take recourse to democratic methods like ' dharnas' to mark their protest.

''We will raise issues of rampant unemployment, distribution of caste certificates, the Lal batti issue in the House... In the last session, the government had assured action on the issue but except for organising Vidhan Sabha committee meetings, nothing was done in this regard. The people of Terai region are facing a lot of problems due to this delay,'' he said.

He said the Chief Minister was misleading the public by giving an assurance of providing employment to nearly 25,000 people in the state adding that in reality, this was not so. The assurance of providing employment to 70 per cent of people in the industries was also proving to be baseless and hollow, the opposition leader charged.

Mr Rawat said in spite of this being the Budget session, the Chief Minister had not disbursed adequate allocation for yearly schemes. The state government blamed the Centre for inflation without realising that the Centre had benefitted families living below the poverty line (BPL) through grants-in aid.

The state government should also provide wheat at low prices not only to people included in the BPL category but also those struggling under poverty, he added.

According to BSP sources, their party will seek answers from the government on issues like waving farmer loans growing sugarcane, besides inflation and unemployment in the state.

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