Himachal assembly in session: Congress walks out over old pension scheme - Hindustan Times
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Himachal assembly in session: Congress walks out over old pension scheme

By, Shimla
Mar 04, 2022 01:50 AM IST

Pandemonium was witnessed in Himachal assembly on Thursday as Congress staged a walkout seeking adjournment of proceedings of the House to discuss the restoration of old pension scheme

Uproarious scenes were witnessed in the Himachal Pradesh assembly on Thursday as the opposition Congress staged a walkout seeking the adjournment of the proceedings of the House to discuss the restoration of the Old Pension Scheme (OPS) for state government employees.

Leader of Opposition Mukesh Agnihotri with Congress legislators stage a walkout from the Himachal assembly over old pension scheme in Shimla on Thursday. (Deepak Sansta/HT)
Leader of Opposition Mukesh Agnihotri with Congress legislators stage a walkout from the Himachal assembly over old pension scheme in Shimla on Thursday. (Deepak Sansta/HT)

The Opposition was demanding an immediate discussion on the adjournment motion given under Rule 67. However, speaker Vipin Singh Parmar rejected their demands stating that some MLAs have asked questions on the same issue.

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The members can discuss the issue in detail by raising supplementary questions and hence the adjournment motion cannot be allowed, he said.

Earlier, as soon as the House assembled, Congress’ Jagat Singh Negi raised the issue of OPS and charged the government of trying to suppress the movement started by the employees.

He said thousands of employees of the state are on the streets for the restoration of old pensions, but the government is not ready to talk to them.

He said for the first time in the history of Himachal, the employees were being stopped from agitation and they were being threatened with harsh action.

Leader of Opposition Mukesh Agnihotri said the opposition moved given an adjournment motion notice on this issue and it should be discussed immediately. He accused the government of trying to suppress the voice of the employees and attempts were being made to stop them from participating in the protest.

“Not only this, the employees’ leaves have been cancelled and Section 144 has been imposed to stop the sit-in demonstration which is against democracy,” said Agnihotri, adding that the government should immediately announce to restore the OPS for the employees.

The opposition members started to raise the slogans against the government and moved into the well of the House after the Speaker rejected the adjournment motion.

In the midst of the uproar, the speaker of the Assembly announced the Question Hour after which the opposition members, including the lone CPIM legislator, walked out of the house.

Later, the chief minister criticised the walkout by the opposition and said: “It has become their habit to walk out on every issue.”

He said there is a severe lack of leadership in the opposition and it has to take the help of the CPM to raise slogans.

“It seems that the Congress has outsourced its leadership to the CPM,” he said.

The chief minister said that the New Pension Scheme was implemented in 2003 and the BJP was not in power at that time in the state. At that time Virbhadra Singh was the chief minister and he had implemented it, but today the same Congress is demanding to implement the OPS.

The chief minister said it is not right to pressurise the government through agitation to get their demands fulfilled. He said that the workers who have come to protest outside the assembly today are “associated with the ideology of Congress and CPIM”.

“These are the same employees who take less responsibility for their work and more of the party,” he alleged.

He appealed to the employees agitating for the OPS to put their point before the government amicably and after that, the decision should be left to the government. He also accused the CPM and Congress of instigating the employees.

Jai Ram Thakur said that Congress may have announced to implement the OPS in Rajasthan, but whether it is possible to implement it is a big question.

The chief minister said that the government has constituted a committee under the chairmanship of the chief secretary to look into whether the OPS can be implemented or not.

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