SRINAGAR, MAY 9: Terming the role of the opposition as critical in strengthening democracy, Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti today said it has to act as a buffer between Government and the people by channelizing dissent.
Speaking in the Legislative Assembly after the election of Dr. Nirmal Singh as the new Speaker, the Chief Minister said the opposition by bringing to fore the dissent of the people actually helps the Government in its due discharge of duties. She said yesterday at the All Party Meeting also she appealed the opposition to help the Government by reaching out to people in their own way and channelize their grievances to the Government.
Mehbooba Mufti reminded the House of her role as the opposition leader during which she reached every corner of the State which indirectly helped the Government of the day to further improve their service delivery and address the issues.
Likewise, she added, the opposition at present should play its role by becoming a bridge between people and the Government to put across their grievances and difficulties so that these are discussed at appropriate fora like Assembly.
For this, she assured whatever support required from the Government would be extended.
The Chief Minister said dissent is the essence of democracy and people in both Government and opposition should be tolerant enough to criticism and opposition.
She said the position of Presiding Officer of the House demands that the voice of every section and thought be heard and addressed appropriately which needs patience and tolerance.
Complimenting Dr Singh on assuming the responsibility of the Speaker of the House, Mehbooba said over the past more than three years he discharged his responsibilities without any prejudice and with utmost tolerance.
She said being a man of letters, Dr. Singh earned respect and accolades from every section of the society. She hoped that he would further elevate this position with his knowledge, genteel behavior and accommodative attitude.
The Chief Minister also had a word of appreciation for the former Speaker and now Deputy Chief Minister, Kavinder Gupta. She praised the maturity and wisdom with which he conducted the business of the House during all this time.
Meanwhile Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs Basharat Bukhari moved the motion in the Assembly seeking his election to the post, while Deputy Chief Minister Kavinder Gupta seconded the motion.
Dr Nirmal Singh, MLA from Billawar constituency, was elected with a voice vote.
The opposition had nominated Legislator, Usman Majeed as their candidate for the post of Speaker, whose name was proposed by MLA Abdul Majid Bhat (Larmi).
After the election, Dr Singh was taken to the Speaker’s chair by Chief Minister, Mehbooba Mufti, Minister for Law and Parliamentary Affairs, Basharat Bukhari, Minister for Urban Development, Sat Pal Sharma, Deputy Speaker, Nazir Gurezi, Legislators, Mian Altaf, My Tarigami, Er Abdul Rashid among other members.
Addressing the House, Dr Singh urged all the members to cooperate with him in conducting the house in an impartial manner.
He said that Jammu and Kashmir full of diversities and at the same time full of challenges as well.
“This House has a greater role to address the diversities and challenges of the State,” he said.
“I assure you that I will rise up to the expectations of the members of the house and we will work in close coordination,” he added.
Dr Singh complimented the role of the former Speaker and current Deputy Chief Minister, Kavinder Gupta for his unbiased role in the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly.
Meanwhile speaking on the occasion, Minister for Urban Development, Sat Pal Sharma lauded the role of Dr Singh as Deputy Chief Minister.
He hoped that Dr Singh would play his role as Speaker with utmost dedication and commitment.
MLA Kangan Mian Altaf Ahmad hoped that Dr Singh would come up to the expectations of the opposition parties. He assured that his party will extend full support to the speaker in running the house smoothly.
Extending congratulations to new Speaker, Legislator, Rajesh Gupta said that he is hopeful that Dr Singh would perform the new assignment with the same enthusiasm as he performed as deputy Chief Minister of the state.
Legislator, MY Yousuf Tarigami, on the occasion said that Dr Singh has a great responsibility to run the assembly smoothly and he is hopeful that he would run the assembly as per rules and regulations.
He said that both the ruling and opposition parties would extend his support to speaker maintain the sanctity of the assembly.