Friday, July 17, 2009

Parliament approves President’s rule in Jharkhand

Special Correspondent

NEW DELHI: Parliament approved the extension of President’s rule in Jharkhand, with the Rajya Sabha turning down a motion seeking its revocation after the government promised Assembly elections in the State at the earliest opportunity.

The Rajya Sabha also returned the Jharkhand Budget and the related Appropriation Bill to the Lok Sabha, which had earlier approved both this and the extension of President’s rule .

Initiating the discussion on his motion to revoke President’s rule in Jharkhand, Ravi Shankar Prasad (BJP) wanted to know who was responsible for the political stalemate in the State.

He also noted that in the six months of President’s Rule, the rate of urban crime had gone up with over 6,000 cases being registered in the four cities of Ranchi, Bokaro, Jamshedpur and Dhanbad.

In addition, 20 of the 24 districts were affected by naxalite violence with areas between Ranchi and Jamshedpur being controlled by naxals. “Jharkhand has become a sanctuary for naxalites,” Mr. Prasad said.

He said the government should inform the House as to what preventive action it had undertaken during the last six months, and said a decision regarding Jharkhand should be taken by rising above petty politics. Ramdas Agarwal (BJP), who initiated the discussion on the Jharkhand (Appropriation) Bill, sought to know why elections were not held along with the Lok Sabha polls since Parliament had already approved the move to bring the State under Central rule.

He said despite the State having abundant natural resources in the form of minerals, people continued to live in poverty while development lagged behind .

The BJP government in the State had entered into MoUs worth Rs. 1.98 lakh crore, but some parties had destabilised the Arjun Munda government. D. Raja (CPI) said the State Assembly should be dissolved immediately and fresh elections should be held. He said political opportunism on the part of several parties had led to the deterioration of the situation in the State.

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