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HindustanTimes Thu,18 Sep 2014

Stormy HP monsoon session on cards

Gaurav Bisht, Hindustan Times  Shimla, August 06, 2014
First Published: 13:50 IST(6/8/2014) | Last Updated: 13:54 IST(6/8/2014)

The monsoon session of Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha beginning Wednesday is likely to be a stormy affair, as the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) has decided to corner Virbhadra Singh-led Congress government over scores of issues, including corruption.

The legislature groups of both the Congress and the BJP met here on Tuesday to devise their respective strategies for the monsoon session. The Congress Legislature Party (LCP) met at chief minister Virbhadra Singh’s official residence ‘Oakover’ wherein the ruling party finalised its plans to counter the BJP’s attack.

The opposition BJP readied its armoury at the state-run Hotel Peterhoff at the meeting of its legislators presided over by BJP legislature party leader and former chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal. 

The BJP legislature party unanimously resolved to corner the Congress government over the issue of corruption and governance which is likely to charge up the political environs in the state. The BJP is likely to attack Virbhadra Singh over the cases related to his income tax returns. “Corruption in the Congress government has become the order of the day,” leader of opposition in Vidhan Sabha Prem Kumar Dhumal said.

COMBATIVE OPPN

“The BJP would launch an offensive on the law and order situation in the state. The law and order has deteriorated while crime is on the increase in the state,” said Dhumal.  The spillover of synthetic drugs from Punjab, particularly in the bordering areas, is another issue on which the BJP will try to corner the ruling Congress.

The saffron party is also likely to launch an offensive against the government on sand mafia, which continues to scour the river beds, particularly in areas bordering Punjab and Haryana.

DISCRIMINATION

The BJP legislators in the meeting were also critical of the government’s alleged discrimination against  assembly segments represented by the party MLAs. “It’s unbecoming of the government that the constituencies held by BJP legislators are being discriminated against,” said former irrigation and public health minister Ravinder Singh Ravi.  

Interestingly, some of the Congress legislators are also sore over lack of the development in their constituencies.

The BJP would also attack the Congress government over cases filed by the state anti-corruption and vigilance bureau. 

The party has also been crying hoarse on the issue of political vendetta, accusing the Congress government of making false cases against its leaders and workers. “Instead of focusing on development in the state, the government is spending more energy on fixing the BJP leaders. Even the party workers are being implicated in false cases” said a BJP legislator.

The Congress and BJP could also trade charges over the state of affairs in the state. The BJP has been relentlessly targeting the Congress over alleged bad governance. The opposition party is also critical of reemployment being given to what it terms as “retired, tired and fired” bureaucrats.

“When the chief minister’s office is being handled by retired and tired bureaucrats, what can one expect from the government,” said another BJP legislator.

With elections to the Panchyati Raj Institutions (PRIs) due for next year, the oppositions focus will also turn on the government’s move to change the funding mechanism for Zila parishads, which has evoked sharp reactions among the elected representatives.

The BJP is alleging that panchayats and other elected civic bodies, being ruled by the opposition leaders, are being starved of funds.

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