Himachal Vidhan Sabha speaker Vipin Parmar addressing the media ahead of the monsoon session, in Shimla on Sunday. (Deepak Sansta/HT)
Himachal Vidhan Sabha speaker Vipin Parmar addressing the media ahead of the monsoon session, in Shimla on Sunday. (Deepak Sansta/HT)

HP’s monsoon session to be stormy affair ahead of bypolls

Congress is set to corner the BJP-led Himachal government on scores of issues, primarily the ‘mismanagement’ during the second Covid wave and corruption; the government, meanwhile, would try to highlight its achievements in the last more than three years
By Gaurav Bisht, Shimla
PUBLISHED ON AUG 02, 2021 01:22 AM IST

With the ruling Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and opposition Congress gearing up for bypolls for three assembly and one parliamentary seat, the 10-day long monsoon session of the Himachal Pradesh Vidhan sabha starting Monday is likely to generate much political heat.

The Congress is set to corner the BJP-led government on scores of issues, primarily the ‘mismanagement’ during the second Covid wave and corruption. The government, meanwhile, would try to highlight its achievements in the last more than three years.

The monsoon session that is usually a week-long affair has been extended this time with a total of 10 sittings till August 13.

This is due to the curtailed budget session because of the pandemic. It will be for the first time that the House will meet after the death of Congress stalwart Virbhadra Singh.

Breaking the tradition of meeting before the start of the monsoon session, the BJP Legislature Party just called a meeting at Hotel Peterhoff on Monday after the first day’s business.

The Congress, however, met on Sunday evening at Willys Park to formulate the strategy for the session. The party also passed a resolution commending its stalwart leader Virbhadra Singh for his contribution to the party and development of the state.

The Congress has been constantly targeting the government over law and order, corruption and mining and drug mafia. “Mining and drug mafia is active in the state, but no steps were taken by the government to control them,” said leader of opposition Mukesh Agnihotri. The leaders of the opposition have also demanded an audit of the deaths reported during a pandemic. They have alleged that people suffering from severe illnesses died due to lack of proper treatment during the pandemic.

Spendings from CM’s Covid-19 Solidarity Fund and help from the PM Care funds will also resonate in the house.

With by-elections to Mandi parliamentary seat due, the opposition has been pressing for CBI probe into the death of Lok Sabha member Ramswaroop Sharma.

Among the other issues are the apple concentrate scam in HPMC and the alleged corruption in Himachal Pradesh Technical University (HPTU).

The wasteful expenditure in form of the appointment of vice-chairman of corporations and boards will also be used to corner the government. Besides, the issue of inflation and unemployment will also come to haunt the BJP.

The government would, however, highlight the steps taken by it during the second wave of Covid, which helped to contain the virus spread.

Speaker Vipin Singh Parmar, meanwhile, held an all-party meeting on Sunday which was attended by the ruling party, opposition and independent legislators. Parliamentary affairs minister Suresh Bhardwaj, Mukesh Agnihotri, BJP’s chief whip Vikram Singh Jaryal and deputy chief whip Kamlesh Kumari besides Communist Party of India legislator Rakesh Singha were present.

Parmar has appealed for smooth functioning of the House and cooperation of all the legislators. In total, 853 questions, including 235 unstarred ones, will figure in the assembly.

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