The Opposition BJP members staged a walkout in the Rajasthan Assembly on Friday after raising the issues of illegal mining and transport of ‘bajri’ (riverbed sand), despite the ban imposed by the Supreme Court, and the cancellation of appointment process for 2,500 community health officers in the National Health Mission (NHM).
Speaker C.P. Joshi adjourned the proceedings for half an hour after the walkout, when Parliamentary Affairs Minister Shanti Dhariwal asserted that the State government had a “right to reply” to the Opposition’s allegations.
‘No concrete step’
Attacking the Congress government through an adjournment motion, Deputy Leader of the Opposition Rajendra Rathore said though the Governor’s address to the House on January 17 had admitted of the ‘bajri' mafia operating in the State, no concrete step had been taken to stop the illegal activity. People in the State were still waiting for the sandstone policy that the State government had promised, he said.
Senior BJP leader and former Medical & Health Minister Kali Charan Saraf raised the issue of NHM appointments during zero hour. He said the entrance exam for vacancies of community health officers, scheduled for June 22, was cancelled and the NHM human resource cell’s officials were suspended hurriedly. He said the reasons behind the government's action “taken in a haste” were not clear.
On the issue of restrictions imposed on journalists’ movements in the Assembly building, Mr. Joshi said the boycott of press gallery would not affect the flow of information from the House as the proceedings were telecast live on YouTube.
He said the decision to limit journalists’ access had been taken as per the rules.