March 4, 2021 12:17:57 am
WITH THE deadlock persisting between Congress and BJP in Himachal Pradesh over last week’s ruckus in the Legislative Assembly complex and subsequent suspension of five Congress MLAs, opposition Congress members walked out of the ongoing state budget session for the second consecutive day on Wednesday.
Unruly scenes were witnessed on the first day of the budget session of the Himachal Pradesh Assembly here last week when protesting MLAs of the opposition Congress tried to stop Governor Bandaru Dattatraya from leaving the premises after he delivered his address in the House.
The BJP-led Assembly later suspended opposition leader Mukesh Agnihotri and four other Congress MLAs for the remainder of the budget session for allegedly disrupting the Governor’s address and blocking his cavalcade.
On Wednesday, as soon as the House began its sitting, Congress MLA Jagat Singh Negi raised a point of order demanding that the suspension of five Congress MLAs be revoked. He said that on Friday, when the House was recalled after being adjourned to decide on the suspension of the MLAs, the members were informed about the sitting only four minutes before it started, due to which the Congress was unable to attend it. This made the sitting against the rules, he alleged. Speaker Vipin Parmar said that he will give a ruling on this point after the question hour but demanding an immediate ruling, Congress MLAs walked out of the house in protest.
Outside the Vidhan Sabha premises, the five suspended MLAs continued to sit on a dharna against their suspension. Talking to the media, Agnihotri said that “one-sided action” is being taken against the Congress even though the BJP members attacked them during the scrimmage that occurred last week. Inside the house, chief minister Jai Ram Thakur squarely blamed the Congress for the incident saying that the action against the five MLAs was taken as per law and the rules of the house. “The Governor’s institution has been hurt,” he added.
MLA Rakesh Singha from CPI(M), the only other party in the House besides Congress and BJP, said that reasonable time should have been given to the members of the house while recalling the assembly on Friday. With Congress absent from the House, Singha appealed to BJP to resolve the issue at the earliest so that besides the ruling party, “an alternative voice can be heard in the House”.
2 MLAs seek status updates on pending sports infra projects
TWO MEMBERS of the Himachal Pradesh Legislative Assembly raised issues related to pending sports infrastructure projects in their constituencies during the Question Hour of the ongoing budget session on Wednesday, including an indoor stadium in Hamirpur and a sports complex in Mandi.
Hamirpur MLA Narinder Thakur wanted to know whether land for the construction of an indoor sports stadium in his constituency has been identified and what is the latest position of the construction work. Sports minister Rakesh Pathania replied that 23 kanal land has been identified for the project around 13 km away from the town of
Hamirpur and the deputy commissioner has ordered a joint inspection of the site to prepare its feasibility report.
Mandi MLA Anil Sharma asked the minister about the status of land transfer for construction of a sports complex with an indoor hall and an artificial turf for hockey in his constituency. Pathania replied that forest land of 80 bighas for the project has been identified 8 km from Mandi town, and the land transfer process under the Forest Conservation Act is underway.
The written reply to another listed question said that construction of ice-skating rinks in Sangla and Kalpa in Kinnaur district is complete. It added that due to environmental factors, the grass inside stadiums at Sangla, Kalpa and Kafnu could not grow while at the stadium in Reckong Peo, the soil is yet to be laid out and so the grass has not been sown.
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