A day after Himachal Pradesh assembly Speaker BBL Butail abruptly ended the monsoon session, scheduled to conclude on August 29, on the request of chief minister Virbhadra Singh, the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) sought dissolution of the Vidhan Sabha.
The BJP leaders, led by former chief minister and leader of Opposition Prem Kumar Dhumal, met governor Urmila Singh on Wednesday and submitted a memorandum to the President through her demanding the dissolution of the House.
Dhumal alleged that Virbhadra Singh tried to dictate the proceedings of the assembly. "The chief minister in the House tried to dictate even the Speaker," he told the governor.
He said that Virbhadra Singh seemed to be in tearing hurry on Tuesday to adjourn the House sine die.
He claimed that despite several things to be discussed in the assembly, the chief minister stated in the House that there was no business left as far as the government is concerned.
Elaborating on the pending business in the House, Dhumal said there were 754 starred and 150 unstarred questions; two resolutions under rule 63, three private members' resolutions and 10 notices of discussion on important issues under rule 130 when the government moved the resolution to adjourn the House sine die.
He urged the governor to prepare an independent report in this regard and demanded dissolution of the assembly. "We request you to prepare an independent report on the basis of proceedings in the House and also urge you to dissolve the assembly," he said.
Dhumal said two select committees also tabled their reports on the floor of the House - one on the Lokayukta bill and the other on the Town and Country Planning bill. "The government withdrew the Lokayukta bill, 2012, but did not introduce the new bill," he added.
The BJP also raised the issue of exemption given to Doon MLA Ram Kumar Chaudhary, who is currently lodged in jail in connection with the Jyoti murder case, from attending the monsoon session of the assembly. BJP legislator Jairam Thakur said that Chaudhary was given exemption from the House in the absence of Opposition and without listing the agenda in the business for the day.
Dhumal briefed the Governor about the proceedings of the House on Tuesday. He said the minister for power and agriculture did not reply to a question pit by a BJP member and later rural development minister also moved out from the House without giving reply to a question of another BJP member. After the minister left, the chief minister gave the reply on his behalf. The ruling party, he alleged, was indulging in such tactics deliberately which is not a healthy practice.
Talking to reporters outside the Raj Bhawan, Dhumal said the House was functioning smoothly on Tuesday and it was a pre-planned strategy of the ruling party to adjourn the house sine die. "Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh during his speech in the House (on Tuesday) had said that the government had informed the Speaker about the agenda of adjourning the House sine die," he added.