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Stormy start to assembly session

delhi Updated: Dec 10, 2009 01:26 IST
HT Correspondent

The first day of the Delhi Assembly's winter session was adjourned due to noisy protests by the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) over price hike.

The BJP was supposed to discuss the rise in prices of essential commodities, the hike in power and water tariff and the proposed hike in VAT rates.

But instead, dressed in black clothes, the Opposition leaders stormed the well of the House and shouted slogans against the ruling Congress party led by Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit.

The House was adjourned twice because of the unruly protests and the scheduled discussion failed to take place.

Leader of the Opposition in the House, Vijay Kumar Malhotra, said the protests were part of the BJP's strategy to draw attention to the government's failures.

"Dikshit should resign. She has lost the moral authority to remain in power. The Government has become insensitive to the problems of the common man," said Malhotra.

Dikshit, however, said the BJP should have used the occasion to highlight any problems it wanted to. "We were in a mood to discuss price hikes, but the BJP failed to initiate the discussion," she said later.

BJP insiders felt the party was on the backfoot after a proposal to levy professional tax and hike property tax was tabled by the MCD commissioner. BJP is in power in the MCD.

BJP leader Harsh Vardhan denied the MCD proposals had anything to do with discussion not taking place in the House. "This is a proposal by the MCD commissioner. The party will never accept this. The party chief has said so on record," he said.