The Himachal Pradesh Assembly Tuesday passed the controversial cooperative societies bill amidst a walkout by BJP,before the budget session was adjourned sine die.
The Bill,which was passed by the House,replaces the ordinance issued by the government providing that elected or nominated members of managing committee of cooperative societies - particularty the two cooperative banks - will be eligible to become their chairman and vice chairman.
Earlier the house witnessed noisy scenes when Leader of Opposition Prem Kumar Dhumal,backed by former minister Ravinder Ravi,opposed the bill saying it went against the spirit of the 97th Constitutional amendment,which bars nominated members of cooperative societies from holding the post of chairman or vice chairman.
Dhumal claimed that the amendment has been challenged in the High Court and was sub-judice.I request you to withdraw the amendment, he said.
However,Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh defended the bill claiming that the issue was neither sub-judice nor against the spirit of the constitution. On this,Dhumal asked him to refer the bill to a select committee for scrutiny.
The Chief Minister,accepted the proposal and announced to let it be referred to the select committee of the House. However,minutes later he he withdraw his remarks and asked the Speaker,BBL Butail,to put the bill to vote. What are you waiting for?, he asked the Speaker.
Initially,the Speaker tried to break the stalemate by asking Chief Minister to respond to the arguments extended by Dhumal but when Virbhadra Singh opted not to respond to points raised by the former Chief Minister,Butail moved the bill for affirmations.
However,protesting the move,the opposition staged a walkout.
Later,talking to the media,Dhumal said the state governments move was against fundamental rights of the citizens and a completely undemocratic act. It is going to be struck down by the High Court as same is already under challenge on a constitutional point, he added.