Pandemonium was witnessed in the Vidhan Sabha on the second day of the budget session on Wednesday as opposition Bharatiya Janata Party created uproar demanding discussion on rechristening schemes named after former Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee and later staged a walkout.
Speaker Brij Bihari Butail made repeated attempts to restore order in the house.
BJP legislators wanted to know about the adjournment motions moved on telephone tapping and renaming of schemes.
Quoting provisions of the Indian Telegraph Act, the speaker apprised the house that rules do not permit discussion on telephone tapping.
Chief minister Virbhadra Singh said information on telephone tapping could not be revealed.
“Phone tapping is a serious offence under the Telegraphic Act. Rule 25 (2&4) framed under the IT Act, 2000, prohibits any disclosure of information gathered from any such interception. In the present case too, no information can be revealed unless inquiry is complete which is still going on,” said Virbhadra Singh, quoting a Supreme Court judgment.
The opposition member welcomed the chief minister's statement, but they remained adamant on their demand for debate on rechristening of names of schemes started by its government.
Former health minister Dr Rajiv Bindal sought assurance from the speaker that chief minister Virbhadra Singh would dissuade from making any names public till completion of investigations and insisted for debate on changing of names.
The speaker tried to pacify the opposition members saying that he could give time for discussion after prior consultation with the government.
Leader of opposition Prem Kumar Dhumal said the adjournment motion on renaming of schemes should be taken up after lunch.
“The general budget will be tabled in the house on Thursday and the day after it is private member day, where discussions cannot be taken up. There will not be sufficient time to discuss the issue,” he added.
Notwithstanding the opposition's demand, the speaker initiated the question hour, amid sloganeering in the house.
The BJP members did not participate in the question hour. It was only the Congress legislators who raised the questions.
The speaker continued with the proceedings in spite of walkout by the opposition.
Supplementary budget of approximately Rs. 870 crore was passed for 2012-13 by voice votes and economic survey for 2012-13 was tabled by the chief minister.