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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014

Oppn pressure on CM sends HP govt into a tizzy

Gaurav Bisht, Hindustan Times  Shimla, August 08, 2014
First Published: 09:30 IST(8/8/2014) | Last Updated: 11:00 IST(8/8/2014)

The Congress government on Thursday went into tizzy after the Bharatiya Janata Party mounted pressure on chief minister Virbhadra Singh to demit office particularly in wake of the Centre’s plea in the Delhi high court for registering a first information case (FIR) against him for money laundering.

As the House was adjourned following ruckus created by the BJP, there was hectic political activity on the Vidhan Sabha premises, as Virbhadra and his loyalists went into damage-control mode. The CM held scores of meeting with his cabinet colleagues and troubleshooters. Post-lunch, the cabinet ministers issued a joint statement of solidarity with him and condemned the BJP for creating ruckus in the House.

“The Opposition should have faith in the democratic process,” the ministers said.

A duly-signed statement was issued by irrigation and public health minister Vidya Stokes. Other signatories included health minister Kaul Singh Thakur, transport minister GS Bali, industry minister Mukesh Agnihotri, law minister Dhani Ram Shandil, rural development minister Anil Sharma, power minister Sujan Singh Pathania, excise minister Prakash Chaudhary, urban development minister Sudhir Sharma and forest minister Thakur Singh Bharmauri.

IPH minister Vidya Stokes, health minister Kaul Singh Thakur and transport minister GS Bali had separately met governor Urmila Singh to greet her on her 68th birthday along with 13 other legislators.

Independent MLA's support virbhadra

Further, to express their solidarity with the chief minister the four independent legislators, Pawan Kajal, Manohar Dhiman, Balbir Verma and Karnesh jung, hurriedly briefed the press in urban development minister Sudhir Sharma’s room on the Vidhan Sabha premises.They rallied behind the CM, clarifying that their support to government was only due to Virbhadra and would continue until he remained the CM.

“Virbhadra is mass leader of the state with a political career of over 52 years. He has served the state with honesty and commitment,” they said. They condemned the BJP for making personal attacks on the CM. Virbhadra convened an emergency meeting of the Congress Legislature Party (CLP) on Thursday evening.  Sources said the it was apparently to pacify the detractors.

BJP creates ruckus; house adjourned

A belligerent opposition Bharatiya Janata Party raised din in the Vidhan Sabha over the Centre’s claim that prima facie a case of money laundering is made out against chief minister Virbhadra Singh, forcing the speaker to adjourn the proceedings for day within half-an-hour after the House assembled for the day on Thursday.

Speaker Brij Bihari Lal Butail rejected the Opposition’s demand for the discussions saying the matter was sub judice. At this, the Opposition members stood up on their seats pressing for adjournment and raised slogans, amid which, the CM read out his statement in the House.

Exemption to Doon MLA opposed

A day after the House exempted murder accused Congress legislator from Doon, Ram Kumar Chaudhary from the monsoon session, opposition Bharatiya Janata Party on Thursday lodged a protest before speaker BBL Butail.

All BJP members met Vidhan Sabha speaker BBL Butail and lodged their protest against the decision of granting exemption to Chaudhary. Dhumal told the media on the Vidhan Sabha campus that the decision was taken in haste even without listing the matter in the business.

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