Chief minister Jai Ram Thakur addressing the assembly on the first day of the monsoon session in Shimla on Monday.(HT photo)
Chief minister Jai Ram Thakur addressing the assembly on the first day of the monsoon session in Shimla on Monday.(HT photo)

Monsoon session of Himachal Pradesh assembly begins under Covid shadow

The opposition will try to pin down the government over issues such as corruption, ‘involvement’ of a BJP minister in dubious land deals, and increase in power tariff .
Hindustan Times/Shimla | By Gaurav Bisht
UPDATED ON SEP 07, 2020 05:55 PM IST

The 10-day monsoon session of Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha, which commenced on Monday, is likely to be a stormy affair with the opposition planning to corner the government over several issues of public interest.

The House will assemble in the afternoon to pay tribute to the former president Pranab Mukherjee, who passed away on August 31. It will also pay tribute to former MLA from Theog Rakesh Verma and former Dharamshala MLA Chander Verker.

The opposition will try to pin down the government over issues such as corruption, ‘involvement’ of a BJP minister in dubious land deals, and increase in power tariff.

Vidhan Sabha staff checking the body temperature of BJP minister Ram Lal Markanda on the first day of the Himachal monsoon session in Shimla on Monday. (Deepak Sansta / HT)
Vidhan Sabha staff checking the body temperature of BJP minister Ram Lal Markanda on the first day of the Himachal monsoon session in Shimla on Monday. (Deepak Sansta / HT)

The Jai Ram Thakur-led BJP government will undoubtedly try to highlight its achievements, especially its handling of the Covid-19 outbreak, which the CM claims was better than other states and won accolades from the Prime Minister himself.

The Congress will bring up the bribery scandal involving former health and family welfare director Dr Ajay Gupta, which had caused much embarrassment to the ruling party . In an audio-clip that was widely circulated on social media, Dr Gupta was heard demanding 5 lakh for clearing personal protective equipment (PPE) kit orders for the state health department.

Health minister Rajiv Saizal sanitising his hands at the assembly gate in Shimla on Monday. (HT Photo )
Health minister Rajiv Saizal sanitising his hands at the assembly gate in Shimla on Monday. (HT Photo )

A sanitiser-purchase scam, which had involved some BJP leaders had also rocked the secretariat. The opposition has also alleged mishandling of the Covid-19 Response Fund. Allegations of social justice and empowerment minister Sarveen Chaudhary’s involvement in some questionable land deals in Kangra are also likely to be brought up. Former Congress minister Vijai Singh Mankotia had accused the minister of purchasing lands worth crores in the name of her family members.

Though, the minister has denied the allegations, a preliminary probe by the state vigilance bureau had pointed out some irregularities in the purchase.

Chief minister Jai Ram Thakur said the government was ready to debate every issue. However, if the opposition creates unnecessary hullabaloo, it will get a befitting response.

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