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Nirmal Singh elected LA speaker amid ruckus by opposition

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Srinagar, May 10: BJP legislator and former Deputy Chief Minister Nirmal Singh was elected as the Speaker of the Jammu and Kashmir Legislative Assembly today.

Singh, who is an MLA from Billawar constituency in Jammu region, was elected as the Speaker by a voice vote in a one day special session of the Assembly here.

The motion to elect Singh was moved by Law, Justice and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Basharat Bukhari and seconded by Deputy Chief Minister Kavinder Gupta.

Singh defeated Congress MLA from Bandipora, Usman Majeed.

However, the Opposition staged a walkout from the Assembly alleging that rules and proper procedures were not followed for the election of the Speaker.

Earlier, when the House proceedings began this afternoon, National Conference (NC) MLA Mohammad Shafi Uri alleged that rules regarding notifying the members of the election well before time were not followed.

Uri said the rules clearly state that the Secretary Assembly shall send notices to all the members.

“But some members have not been notified,” Uri said, adding that Singh had submitted his nomination form before the issuance of the notification for the post.

“If no such notice has been sent to every member, then this election should not happen as it is the question of the dignity of the House. Why have the rules been relaxed? Why are you (Deputy Speaker) degrading this House?” he asked.

Following the uproar by the Opposition, Deputy Speaker Nazir Gurezi adjourned the House for half-an-hour.

“Unfortunately, the opposition is adamant that the election be delayed, but it cannot be done,” Gurezi said.

As the Deputy Speaker conducted the elections, the opposition staged a walk-out from the House.

The opposition parties, led by NC MLA Ali Mohammad Sagar, accused the Deputy Speaker of “bulldozing” the Constitution.

“You are bulldozing the rules and the constitution. We are not adamant, but the ruling parties are. They want to break the rules and violate the constitution,” Sagar said.

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