Debate on Guv’ address: CM takes aim at Congress to defuse corruption narrative of opposition
Haryana chief minister Manohar Lal Khattar on Thursday charged the opposition with halting development by raising non-issues for petty political gains and reiterated the BJP-JJP coalition government’s vow about “transparency in governance and zero-tolerance of corruption.”
In a sharp speech in the Vidhan Sabha that opposition benches repeatedly interrupted with objections and interjections causing uproar in the House, Khattar, in his reply to the governor’s address to state assembly, dwelt at length to blunt the Congress’ narrative about corruption in governance.
His nearly 100-minute fiery address revolved around hot-button issues such as corruption, illegal mining, which he described as “purely not a very holy work”, alleged scam about missing paddy, post-matric scholarship scam, women safety, welfare of farmers. Khattar also responded to various other issues the members had raised while participating in the debate during the past three days.
As in a carefully-crafted strategy, the Congress had attempted to dent Khattar government’s credibility by raising alleged corruption issues during the debate, Khattar responded to the accusations advising the opposition to first furnish “credible primary material” to launch an inquiry in corruption issues.
Reiterating his catch-phrase “zero tolerance of corruption,” Khattar, however, admitted that he was not claiming complete guarantee of wiping out corruption. “There are people/employees who may still indulge in corruption at certain levels,” he said and informed the House how transparency in recruitment was being hailed across the state.
“No scam has taken place during our term. Hamari niyat aur niti mein khot nahin hai (Our intention and policies are clean). I know you will not agree,” Khattar said amid objections from the Congress.
Right from the beginning of his address, Khattar went after the Congress with proverbial hammer and tongs. He tried to defuse Congress’ ‘corruption in government’ bogey with a stunning revelation that when he became CM in October 2014 for the first time, certain people involved in mining were contacting him to know as to where they should deliver “my bag” as per the existing practice. He said the term bag was being used for “money bag”.
The disclosure caused commotion in the Congress camp and visibly angry former two-term chief minister Bhupinder Singh Hooda sought inquiry into the matter.
But Khattar said: “There is no proof about it…That’s why I am saying we need credible primary material to believe before launching probe,” he said, advising the Congress to desist from raising non-issues.
Earlier, while touching the illegal mining issue, the chief minister candidly said that in his opinion, mining wasn’t a pious work. He admitted that a large number of people were involved in illegal mining.
“Stop trying to make an issue out of non-issue. You cannot mislead people by telling lies,” Khattar said and again accused the Congress of raising matters such as Rohtak’s multi-purpose parking and commercial complex, an issue settled by the Supreme Court.
However, the chief minister said he wanted Congress to criticise the government instead of condemning it and applying brakes on the pace of development by misleading people.
“Alochana honi chahiye, nivedan hai ki ninda nahin honi chahiye. Vikaas ko mat roken, aalochana beshak karen,” he said while wrapping up the address with a couplet which was not heard in the din.
Every credible primary material to believe will be looked into. Naa koi ghotala hua hai naa hoga hamare karyakaal mein. We are committed to transparency and zero-tolerance against corruption.
But the Congress has the habit of raising non-issues. The Congress indulges in hair- splitting of even reforms and pro-people issues. We will not let the opposition spread lies.
ON PADDY SCAM
There is no ban on procuring paddy arriving from neighbouring states. Of course, paddy of the state has to be procured first. The mismatch in procured paddy and stocks is not as huge as it is being made out to be. We are toying with the idea of keeping the stocks in joint custody of FCI and the millers and under the locks and keys of both.
ON ILLEGAL MINING
I don’t say mining is a pious work. Shudh roop se pavitter kaam nahin hai khanan.’
Hamari niyat aur niti mein khot nahin hai. Binna parchi aur bina kharchi bharti hui paanch saal.