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SP protests in RS over Centre not releasing funds for UP


New Delhi: Samajwadi Party on Thursday forced three adjournments of Rajya Sabha in pre-noon session alleging discrimination by the Centre in releasing funds for Uttar Pradesh.

Slogan-shouting SP members trooped into the Well of the House demanding an assurance from the Centre that it would release the share of Uttar Pradesh shortly.

JD-U members too trooped into the Well charging Centre with not implementing the Pradhan Mantri Krishi Bima Yojana (crop insurance scheme) in flood-hit Bihar.

Deputy Chairman P J Kurien first adjourned the house for 15 minutes and then till noon as uproarious schemes continued. The House was adjourned for the third time soon after it reassembled at noon.

Ram Gopal Yadav (SP) gave a notice under rule 267 seeking suspension of business to discuss the alleged discrimination against Uttar Pradesh, while Sharad Yadav (JD-U) gave a similar notice to raise non-release of funds for Bihar.

Soon after listed papers were laid on the table, Yadav said Uttar Pradesh Chief Minister and Chief Secretary have written several letters to the Union government seeking release of the state’s share of funds.

Listing out schemes under which funds have not been released, he said Rs 1,425 crore for scholarship for 8 lakh SC/ST and OBC students had not been released, while Rs 4,742 crore compensation for hailstorm-hit areas was yet to come.

Out of Rs 2,780 crore sanctioned for UP from the Central Road Fund, only Rs 219 crore had been released so far, he alleged, adding that not even half of the money allocated under the Pradhan Mantri Gramin Sadak Yojana has been released, leading to stalling of projects.

Also, money under Sarva Siksha Abhiyan, higher education as well as scholarship for minorities and other backwards too had not been released, he said. “If the Centre does not give an assurance that the due funds will be released in 2-3 days, the House will not be allowed to function,” he said.

While Sharad Yadav (JD-U) said similar discrimination was being meted out to Bihar, his party colleague Ali Anwar Ansari said 2,300 villages in 14 districts were under water but the crop insurance scheme was not being implemented there.

Pramod Tiwari (Cong) raised a case of daring heist in a moving train when Rs 5 crore out of Rs 340 crore cash being sent to Reserve Bank of India from Salem in Tamil Naidu was stolen. He asked how the cash transfer was being done without security and alleged complacency of RBI officials in the loot.

Soon after SP leader Yadav completed his submission, his party members trooped into the Well raising slogans against the government. JD(U)’s Ansari after making his brief statement too joined them in the Well.

Kurien asked members to return to their seats and promised to allow them raise the issue so that the government could react.

But the members remained unrelenting. SP members also urged Defence Minister Manohar Parrikar, who was present in the House, to join them in the Well saying he represents Uttar Pradesh in Rajya Sabha and should stand in solidarity.

As the din continued, Kurien adjourned the proceedings for 15 minutes. No sooner the House met after the brief adjournment, slogan-shouting members of Samajwadi Party again trooped into the Well.

A helpless-looking Kurien read out the names of 15 members who had to make their Zero Hour mentions. “I am expressing my inability and apologies to them (members who were to make Zero Hour mention),” he said, as the members could not read out their statements amidst the vociferous sloganeering.

Kurien then adjourned the House till noon. A similar scenario again prevailed when the House met for Question Hour at noon with SP members raising slogans alleging discrimination by the Narendra Modi government against the state of Uttar Pradesh.

As the disruption showed no signs of abating, Chairman M Hamid Ansari adjourned the House for half-an-hour till 12.32 pm.

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