Opposition Congress staged walkout from the Assembly on Wednesday over alleged corruption in Sujlam Suflam Yojana and the government not tabling several key reports such as that of M B Shah commission which probed allegations of irregularities and favouritism by the Gujarat government.
As soon as the Question Hour started, Congress chief whip in the Assembly Balvantsinh Rajput asked a question on the implementation of Sujlam Suflam Yojana. Water Resources Minister Nanubhai Vanani replied to the question, but other Congress members raised sub-queries over alleged corruption under the BJP government.
Senior Cabinet minister Nitin Patel objected to the Opposition’s questions, saying that such queries could not be raised during the Question Hour. Patel alleged that the Opposition’s move was pre-planned following a press conference Tuesday by a former chief minister (Suresh Mehta) on the issue of M B Shah Commission’s report.
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Leader of the Opposition Shankersinh Vaghela asked why the government was not tabling a number of important reports, including those on alleged corruption under the BJP government at the relevant time. He also sought to know when would the government table those reports. After this, Congress members stood up showing placards and raising slogans for tabling of the reports.
Later, addressing a press conference at the Assembly complex, Vaghela said his party had demanded tabling of many important reports before the House, such as the report of M B Shah commission, which was appointed by the then CM Narendra Modi to investigate into 14 points related to alleged corruption under his government.
The commission was formed after the then leader of the Opposition Arjun Modhwadia submitted a memorandum to the then President of India, alleging rampant corruption against Modi government.
Vaghela said the panel has submitted its final report. “After that eight sessions of Assembly have passed and yet the government was not putting it before the House. The government should declare as to when do they want to table the report,” he said.
Vaghela also referred to alleged corruption of hundreds of crores of rupees in Sujlam Suflam Yojana. “To hide corruption, the government had appointed four commissions and dumped its reports on the shelf or in some corner.”
He presented a list of inquiries or commissions whose reports had been submitted to the government, but those were not tabled before the Assembly. The list included reports of D K Trivedi Commission on the mysterious deaths of two minors at Asaram Ashram-run gurukul, the Nanavati Commission on the 2002 riots and Sanjay Prasad’s findings into the Dalit killings at Thangadh.
“If the government does not want to make the reports public and wants to hide the corruption done by the then BJP government, we boycott the Question Hour of the Assembly,” Vaghela said. He also criticised the government practice of tabling reports of the CAG only at the end of the last day of Assembly Session. Immediately after the Question Hour, MoS for Legislative & Parliamentary Affairs Pradeepsinh Jadeja raised a Point of Order objecting to the Opposition’s move to disrupt the Question Hour by raising unconnected issues.
Assembly Speaker Ganpat Vasava said that he would pass an order on the Point of Order after considering entire issue and going through past orders of various Speakers.