Speaker summons four independent MLAs on BJP petition

  • Gaurav Bisht, Hindustan Times, Shimla
  • Updated: Jan 18, 2015 00:34 IST

Himachal Pradesh vidhan sabha speaker, Brij Bihari Lal Butail on Saturday summoned four independent legislators for a personal hearing on a writ petition filed against them by Bharatiya Janata Party seeking their disqualification from the House.

The four legislators include Karnesh Jung from Poanta Sahib , Manohar Dhiman from Gangath, Balbir Verma from Chopal and Pawan Kajal from Kangra.

In reply to notices served on them by the speaker the four legislators said that they were not members of any political party and had a separate identity inside the house.

"We are public representatives. To get our work done we have to the support someone. My support is to Virbhadra Singh only and it's not in favour of any particular party" Balbir Verma told HT after meeting Butail. "I was elected as an independent candidate with the support of the public," Verma added.

After hearing the personal pleas of the legislators, Butail will record statements of witnesses including the legislators of the opposition party.

BJP chief whip Suresh Bhardwaj filed the petition after the concerned legislators rallied behind Virbhadra Singh during the monsoon session of the vidhan sabha, which had to be called off prematurely due to persistent disruptions.
Showing solidarity to the four legislators, a Congress party official said that the MLAs are in support of the Virbhadra Singh-led government. The legislators had earlier condemned BJP for trying to bring down the Congress government in the state.

Interestingly chief minister's private secretary, Subash Ahluwalia had called on Butail following the incident.
"I have patiently heard all the four legislators and the final decision on this will be taken after recording statements of other witnesses. Decision will be out by next week," Butail told HT.

In the 68 member house Congress has 36 seats, BJP has 27 and Himachal Lokhith Party has one apart from the four independent candidates.

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