Gandhinagar, Sep 27 (IANS): The opposition Congress in Gujarat staged a walkout from the first day of the state assembly's monsoon session after the ruling party and the Speaker denied them permission to pay obituaries to those who died due to Covid-19.
When the Speaker did not grant permission for the same, the Congress MLAs remained silent for a minute and then started chanting the 'OM' mantra loudly, and staged a walkout.
However, within a few minutes, the Congress MLAs returned to the Assembly, only to see BJP MLA from Shehra, Jetha Bharwad being appointed and seated as the deputy speaker, which was opposed by Paresh Dhanani. The Congress had nominated its six-time MLA Anil Joshiyara from Bhiloda constituency for the post.
Meanwhile, the grand old party kept reiterating its demands for Rs 4 lakh compensation to the families of the Covid victims in the state. The party claimed that a total of three lakh people have died due to the pandemic. However, responding to that the health minister Rishikesh Patel denied that such a large number of deaths has taken place.
"Three lakh people have not died due to Covid-19, but the state government will pay to the families of the deceased as per the order of the Supreme Court and central government's guidelines," Patel told the House.
The security was beefed up at the state assembly building complex, after the anticipation of the protests by the Congress MLAs on the first day of the assembly session demanding Rs 4 lakh for the Covid victims' families.
Two MLAs - Gyasuddin Shaikh and Imran Khedawala, both legislators from Ahmedabad, protested in a novel way. They both sported an apron with a message stating 'Compensation to the Covid-19 families.
"It is clearly mentioned in the Disaster Management Act that the victims of natural calamities and epidemic should be provided Rs 4 lakh compensation. Why is there a need from the government, to admit in the Apex Court that the government will provide Rs 50,000 to the families of the coronavirus-infected deceased?" asked Shaikh.