March 4, 2021 3:34:50 pm
Opposition Congress MLAs showed disrespect to the national flag while banging on the bonnet of the governor’s car on the first day of the ongoing Budget Session, Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said on Thursday.
Replying to the discussion on Governor Bandaru Dattatraya’s address to the Assembly, Thakur said the tricolour was affixed to the governor’s car and the Congress members showed disrespect to it.
Leader of the Opposition Mukesh Agnihotri and four other Congress MLAs — Harsh Vardhan Chauhan, Satpal Raizada, Sunder Singh and Vinay Kumar — were on Friday suspended for the Budget Session after they allegedly manhandled the governor.
The alleged incident had taken place outside the Speaker’s office when the Governor was leaving for the Raj Bhavan after he cut short his address to the House following a ruckus. Speaker Vipin Parmar had also lodged a complaint with police in this regard.
Members of the Congress did not attend the proceedings on Thursday as well to press their demand for revoking suspension of the five party legislators who continued their dharna outside the House.
Former chief minister Virbhadra Singh and state Congress president Kuldeep Singh Rathore are also on dharna with the suspended MLAs.
The lone CPI(M) MLA, Rakesh Singha, was present in the House on Thursday.
CM Thakur said Agnihotri hit the bonnet of the governor’s car when he was leaving for Raj Bhawan. “I am a witness when Agnihotri pushed the governor’s ADC (aide-de-camp),” he said.
Urging the Speaker to retrieve footage from CCTV cameras installed in the House complex, Thakur said that the recording should be shown in the House itself and the Congress members should also be present in the House to witness what they had done.
And the people of the state should also see what the opposition members had done, he added.
Hitting out at Agnihotri, the chief minister said the Leader of Opposition interrupted the governor’s address and termed it “a bundle of lies” even before it was fully read.
Thakur said that “Devbhoomi Himachal” was ashamed over the act of the opposition members.
They were surprised and shocked to see when the opposition members blocked the way of the governor when he was going towards his car from the Speaker’s office after addressing the House, he added.
The Congress is doing all this out of frustration of their continuous defeat in elections, be it Lok Sabha or panchayat polls, he added.
Had the Congress members apologised to the governor on Friday itself, the circumstances would have been different, the chief minister said.
The Congress has already delayed an apology but it should consider apologising even now for what its leaders had done on Friday, he added.
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