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Thursday, July 19, 2018

Himachal Pradesh Assembly session: Unruly scenes mar Day 2

BJP, Congress trade barbs after Speaker rejects discussion on CM’s corruption cases.

Written by Ashwani Sharma | Dharamshala | Updated: December 21, 2016 12:12:05 pm
Himachal Pradesh assembly, HP assembly, unruly Himachal Pradesh assembly, unruly HP assembly, HP assembly unruly scenes, HP Chief Minister, HP CM, Congress, BJP, Dharamshala, regional news, Indian Express Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh leaving the state Assembly on Tuesday. (Source: File)

The Himachal Pradesh assembly had to be adjourned for the day on Tuesday without transacting any business amid unruly scenes, slogan shouting and heated exchanges between the opposition and treasury benches on Chief Minister’s corruption cases.

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Miffed BJP MLAs protested Speaker BBL Butail’s decision to reject a motion moved by the opposition seeking adjournment of the House to debate corruption charges against Virbhadra.

Twice, opposition members led by Suresh Bhardwaj, party’s chief whip, Dr Rajeev Bindal , Ravinder Ravi and Randhir Sharma reached the Speaker’s podium and raised slogans insisting that House must discuss the corruption allegations since Income Tax Appellate Tribunal (ITAT) had already dismissed the CM’s appeal in the I-T returns case. They also contested Speaker’s ruling that discussion can’t be allowed as the matter is sub-judice and pending in Delhi High Court.

Trouble started immediately after the House had assembled when Bhardwaj, Bindal and Ravi asked the Speaker about the fate of their proposals to hold a discussion on CM’s corruption cases.

Even as Butail initially had asked them to wait for his decision once the question hour was over, but none of them was ready to budge alleging that after the ITAT had already turned down the appeal and the CBI is ready with a chargesheet and so it’s high time that the House be allowed to discuss the issue.

Ravi also tried to display papers in the House and accused the Chief Minister of misusing his position to influence the CBI probe. He walked upto the Speaker and handed over a paper insisting that ITAT had given the verdict and there was no matter pending in the court. Hence, discussion should be allowed.

There were angry protests from the ruling benches who tried to counter the BJP even as Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Mukesh Agnihotri asked the Speaker to go ahead with the business agenda and ignore opposition’s plea.

When Butail decided to take-up the question hour, the opposition walked into the Well of the House and surrounded the Speaker’s podium. Unable to manage the ruckus, the Speaker was forced to adjourn the House for 15 minutes. When the House reassembled, the opposition staged fresh protests and exchanged heated arguments with treasury benches before BJP MLAs again reached upto the Speaker’s chair forcing the adjournment of the House for the day.

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