A youth can now apply for government jobs only in his own district

Amid uproarious scenes, the Jammu and Kashmir Assembly on Friday passed a controversial Bill which bans inter-district recruitment and provides a quota for Scheduled Castes in government jobs in all districts.

The House witnessed pandemonium, with the Opposition People's Democratic Party (PDP) alleging that its members were not being allowed to speak. They tore sheets of business of the House and threw a chair in the well.

Angered by Speaker Mohmmad Akbar Lone not allowing PDP member Muzaffar Hussain Baigh to speak, they rushed towards the podium, but were prevented by the watch and ward staff and marshals resulting in clashes.

With the passage of the Inter-District Recruitment Bill, a youth can now apply for government jobs only in his own district. A youth belonging to the SC community can apply in any of the 22 districts in the state, including the Kashmir valley.

Law and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ali Mohmmad Sagar moved a motion in the Assembly for holding discussion on the Bill.

The Speaker asked Ashok Kumar (Congress) to speak without inviting the leader of the Opposition. “It is a gross violation of ethics of the House that Opposition leader has been totally ignored. You are choking the voice of Ppposition in J&K. It is autocratic,” PDP member Muzaffar Hussain Baigh said.

However, the Speaker was unmoved.

Leader of the BJP legislature party Chaman Lal Gupta too alleged that the Speaker was not allowing him to speak on such an important issue. “We, as a large part of the Opposition, are not being allowed to speak. It is unfortunate…. Why are you [Speaker] gagging the voice of the Opposition?” Mr. Gupta, who was later allowed to speak, said.

“It (the Bill) is against the Constitution as well as the Supreme Court verdict. You have created a regional problem,” he said.

As PDP member Muzaffar Hussain Baigh stood up to speak, the Speaker said, “I will not allow you to speak. Nothing will be recorded“.

Leader of the House Mehbooba Mufti told the Speaker that he [Mr. Baigh] would speak on behalf of the party. But Mr. Lone refused to budge. “...I will not allow you to speak. I will put the Bill to vote without discussion.”.

There was a verbal duel between Mr. Baigh and the Speaker. As Mr. Lone started the process of putting the Bill to vote, the entire PDP members trooped into the well, uprooted tables, resorted to anti-Speaker and anti-government slogans. Amid the pandemonium, the Speaker pressed the Bill for voice vote and declared it passed.