Raipur, Jan 16 : In an unprecedented event, the Chhattisgarh Legislative Assembly witnessed a boycott of the Governor's address by main opposition parties on Thursday.
Governor Anusuiya Uikey, who was in BJP before her elevation as first citizen of the state, addressed the House while inaugurating the special one-day session to ratify Constitutional amendment for 10 years' extension of reservations to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes.
The House ratified the amendment before adjournment.
The BJP was joined by Janata Congress MLAs in the boycott. BJP leader Brijmohan Aggarwal said: "We had sought extension of time to discuss the Governor's address which was not granted. That is why all BJP MLAs walked out".
Former Chief Minister Ajit Jogi said a wrong precedent has been set with no discussion being allowed on Governor's address. The Governor finally read her Address despite the walkout.
The Opposition resented the fact that the Governor's address being included in two sessions. It was not being done as per constitutional provisions. With the ratification of the Constitutional amendment being the key issue on the agenda, there is no scope for discussing the Governor's address before a motion of thanks. Like Madhya Pradesh the Chhattisgarh assembly should have also provided for another day's sitting.
Parliamentary Affairs Minister Ravindra Choubey called the boycott a political stunt. Former Chief Minister Dr Raman Singh has said an important tradition of the House has been broken. "We could not be a party to this".
Last Sunday, the BJP Legislature Party met Governor Anusuiya Uike and Speaker of the Assembly Dr. Charandas Mahant and presented its objections. The MLAs argued that a one-day session could not do justice to the agenda with no discussion taking place on the Governor's address. It has never happened before, they said.
The Governor said the Chhattisgarh Assembly has established a good reputation in a short time with its excellent functioning. She said on her first visit to the assembly, she is quite emotional and energised.
The Governor said: "I am very happy to say my government has given better life to Scheduled Castes and Scheduled Tribes in Chhattisgarh".
The state is ruled by the Congress government headed by Chief Minister Bhupesh Baghel.