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Noisy scenes in U'Khand assembly as oppn demands debate on sting video

Noisy scenes were witnessed in the Uttarakhand Assembly on Wednesday with opposition members demanding a discussion on a viral sting video which they claimed showed some people considered close to Chief Minister Trivendra Singh Rawat negotiating a monetary deal.

As the House assembled for the day Speaker Prem Chandra Aggrawal paid tribute to Padma BhushanJagatguru Shankaracharya Swami Satyamitranand Giri Maharaj who passed away at the age of 87 after a prolonged illness at a city hospital on Tuesday.

After the assembly had observed two minutes silence to condole the spiritual leader's demise, the opposition members led by Ranikhet MLA Karan Mahra demanded that the listed business of the House should be suspended and a debate be held on the sting video as it had gone viral and it involved people considered to be close to the chief minister.

Urban Development Minister Madan Kaushik, who also holds the charge of parliamentary affairs,objected to the opposition party's demand saying the matter was sub-judice and therefore a discussion could not be held on it in the state Assembly.

Making a reference to rule no-285 of Vidhan Sabha Karya Sanchalan Niyamavali, Kaushik said debating the matter in the assembly would amount to the executive infringing upon the prerogative of the judiciary.

The Speaker said the minister was speaking with responsibility and a discussion on the matter could not be allowed as it was sub-judice.

"It is a very serious matter as it involves people close to the chief minister. The prestige of the entire assembly and its members is at stake," Mahra said insisting on a debate.

Other ruling party members including Deshraj Karnawal, Surendra Singh Jeena and Rajesh Shukla also advised the opposition MLAs not to insist on their demand and let the question hour take place as issue of public interest were listed.

However, opposition members refused to budge with Govind Singh Kunjwal, Pritam Singh, Karan Mahra, Mamata Rakesh and others storming into the well to reiterate their demand. When repeated requests from the chair were ignored by them, the Speaker adjourned the House for 30 minutes.

When the House reassembled the opposition members began their chant again. The Speaker reiterated the same reason for not allowing a debate on the issue in the house as it was sub-judice. This prompted the Congress MLAs to sit on a dharna inside the well shouting slogans like 'Bhrashtachariyon ki sarkar nahin chalegi nahin chalegi' (Government of corrupt people will not run).

The stand-off washed out the entire Question Hour and the Speaker had to dispose of the other listed business amid the prevailing din before adjourning the House sine die.