Acquiring aggressive posture yet again, the Opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) on Friday disrupted the proceedings of the Himachal Pradesh Assembly, demanding a debate into the fresh charges of corruption levelled against chief minister Virbhadra Singh.
As soon as Speaker BBL Butail announced the question hour, BJP legislators launched a fresh bout of protest with Jhanduta MLA Rikhi Ram Kaundal standing up and inquiring into the adjournment motion notice moved by the 14 Opposition members to discuss the allegations levelled against the chief minister, which appeared in newspapers.
However, the chief minister was on an official tour to New Delhi
Meanwhile, the Speaker said he had studied the notice and found it entirely based on newspaper's cuttings. “The Opposition has not presented facts in the notice; let me investigate,” said Butail.
However, Butail's statement infuriated the Opposition legislators, who stood up and started raising slogans. BJP legislator Ravinder Singh Ravi said it was a serious allegation that the chief minister's wife, son and daughter and an office on special duty (OSD) had stakes in Tarini Infrastructure Ltd - a company owned by one Vakamulla Chandrashekhar.
“While Vakamullah's daughter Tarini, who has share worth Rs 1.54 lakh to her name, the chief minister's daughter has shares worth Rs 3.4 lakh, wife Rs 3.4 lakh, son has shares worth Rs 3 lakh to their names,” said Ravi.
He further said the allegations levelled against the head of the state and his family members had tarnished the state's image.
This prompted health and family welfare minister Kaul Singh to state that the adjournment motion notice submitted by the Opposition was not in order. “This listed company is a recognised and there is no illegality in purchasing shares by any person,” said Kaul Singh. While parliamentary affairs minister Mukesh Agnihotri urged the Speaker to reject the notice.
Later, the Speaker rejected the adjournment motion and asked for the resumption of zero hour following which the Opposition members moved to the well in protest and raised slogans against the chief minister and the government.
While the proceedings of the assembly continued amid din, the Opposition did not participate in it and kept raising slogans till the House was adjourned by the Speaker.
It was for the second time in the winter session that the BJP sought an adjournment motion in the House. Earlier, on the opening day, the Opposition had clubbed the issues of personal allegations against the chief minister and failures of different schemes together, but the Speaker rejected the demand, saying that they had clubbed all the issues together while the adjournment motion notice was given on a single issue.
Power ministers loses cool, tried to pluck out microphone
The high-pitched sloganeering annoyed power minister Sujan Singh Pathania so much that he not only threatened the BJP MLAs, but also tried to pluck out the microphone. However, health minister Kaul Singh Thakur asked Pathania to calm down and continue with the question hour without paying any heed to the Opposition MLA's behaviour.