The ruling BJP on Tuesday brought a privilege motion against Congress MLA Kuldeep Sharma, who was assembly speaker under the previous Congress government, after he accused the government of being involved in rampant illegal mining in the state.
Sharma, who was speaking during the discussion on the budget in the state assembly, pointed out various flaws in the government functioning and said that illegal mining was rife from Yamunanagar to Palwal, in which people of BJP government as well as some officials were involved.
The remark instantly evoked aggressive reactions from the treasury benches with almost all the MLAs, including Umesh Agrawal, Manish Grover, Nayab Saini, Krishan Panwar and Gian Chand Gupta, refuted the allegations and sought to know the names of all those who were involved.
The House saw further ruckus when the leader of Opposition Abhay Chautala and several other INLD MLAs, including Jaswinder Sandhu and Zakir Hussain, stated that it was a serious allegation and that Sharma must give out the names of the members as well as officials involved in it.
Though House passed a condemnation motion against Sharma for his remarks, it was plunged in a din it as INLD members stuck to their demand for “befitting” action against Sharma.
They were immediately joined by the BJP MLAs and ministers, including education minister Ram Bilas Sharma, agriculture minister O P Dhankar, health minister Anil Vij, who maintained that hiding the names of corrupt people was also a crime, hence need of a privilege motion as well.
Gupta moved a breach of privilege motion which was sent to the privilege committee of the House by speaker Kanwar Pal.
However, former chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda, Congress legislature party leader Kiran Choudhry and several Congress MLAs, including Karan Dalal and Lalit Nagar, held that the government could find out the accused if it wanted to.
ROW OVER HEALTH VARSITY’S NAME
Earlier too, the House witnessed a din after Kuldeep Sharma said the government had changed the name of Kalpana Chawla Health University to Pt Deendayal Upadhyay health university. The treasury benches reacted sharply to it with the health minister repeatedly saying that it was the Kalpana Chawla Medical College in Karnal while the upcoming health university was named after Pt Deendayal Upadhyay.
“Karnal medical college was named after astronaut Kalpana Chawla long ago, while the upcoming health university, which did not have a name, was named after Pt Deendayal Upadhyay adopting proper proceedure,” Vij said and asked Sharma if he had been “herding sheep” during his stint in previous government.
UPROAR OVER SIR CHHOTU RAM
Earlier, the House witnessed ruckus when BJP MLA Prem Lata, while mentioning about a scheme launched in the name of Sir Chhotu Ram, said that other parties only used him for political purpose, but otherwise forgot him.
Irked over the remark, Abhay held that though the MLA’s husband, Union minister Birender Singh, was grandson of Sir Chhotu Ram, he as a Congress leader got inaugurated institutions in the name of Gandhi family members.
Congress MLA Karan Dalal whipped up an intense debate when he said that INLD supremo Devi Lal had termed Sir Chhotu Ram as a traitor, evoking sharp reactions from INLD MLAs.
Prem Lata, however, said her husband intentionally did not use his grandfather’s name as he was unlike other politicians who used their forefather’s names for their political interests.