Opposition parties stage protest, walkout

The Territorial Assembly on Wednesday passed vote-on-account Bill 2014 by voice vote amid protest and walkouts by Opposition parties such as the Congress and the All India Anna Dravida Munnetra Kazhagam (AIADMK).

Chief Minister N. Rangasamy, who is holding Finance portfolio, presented the Appropriation Bill (Vote on Account) for authorising payment and appropriation of funds for services in respect of six months from April 2014.

Congress members led by Opposition Leader V. Vaithilingam were not present in the House when he moved the bill.

Earlier, minutes after the House assembled, Mr. Vaithilingam questioned the government’s rationale behind convening the Assembly when the model code of conduct was in force for the Lok Sabha elections. Reminding the protest during previous Assembly session by the Congress, he said it was then promised that the Assembly would be convened in January or February. Had it been convened then, it would have helped the members to bring up people’s issues. He sought Mr. Rangasamy’s answer for failing to convene the Assembly before the announcement of elections. Since Speaker V. Sabapathy went ahead with the scheduled agenda, the Congress members staged a walkout.

Floor leader of AIADMK A. Anbalagan, who led a group of AIADMK members stage a walkout, charged that the first session of the Assembly in a new calendar year had been convened without the customary address of Lt. Governor citing Lok Sabha elections. Moreover, Mr. Rangasamy never presented a full budget since he came to power in 2011. It showed that the government was not bothered about the growth and development of Puducherry. Om Sakthi Sekar (AIADMK) also staged a walkout separately on the same issue.

The sixth session of the 13 Assembly came to end in 35 minutes. After the Assembly passed the Vote on Account Bill, the Speaker adjourned the House sine die.

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