Himachal assembly monsoon session: Corona crisis debate continues on Day 2Updated: Sep 08, 2020 20:16 IST
Fireworks continued on the second day of Himachal assembly’s monsoon session as the ruling BJP and the opposition countered each other on the issues of corona crisis and corruption.
The adjournment motion moved by the opposition Congress was also debated on Tuesday.
Opening the deliberations, BJP legislator from Bilaspur, Subhash Thakur, said the state government had done a commendable job in dealing with the Covid-19 pandemic. He said 39,200 packets of ration and 55,000 masks were distributed, while community kitchens were organised at six places in Bilaspur during the lockdown.
He said the 25 quarantine centres set up in Bilaspur district were well-equipped with all the facilities.
Thakur also raised the case of suicide by young man in Bilaspur who had released a video holding a former MLA responsible for his death. He demanded an inquiry from the chief minister so that the victim’s family could get justice.
Countering Thakur’s claims, the opposition’s Kinnaur legislator Jagat Singh Negi alleged that during the lockdown, the government acted as if there was an emergency in the state. “This would be the first government to have failed on all fronts and messed up things during pandemic,” he rebutted.
He said the lockdown was imposed when the disease had already spread. On the other hand, Negi said, the CM took a decision that added to the people’s sufferings while sitting at his home.
Responding to Negi’s remarks, CM Jai Ram Thakur said the words the opposition member was using will not be tolerated. “Had there been a Congress government today, the country and the state would have been ruined,” he said.
The angered chief minister told the opposition members to choose their words wisely. “Whenever he (Negi) wants, he jumps up to speak,” he said.
On this, the opposition members started sloganeering.
Meanwhile, the CM said the lockdown was announced in the entire country as per the Disaster Management Act, and that the opposition should not vitiate the atmosphere of the house using inappropriate terminology.
Negi also raised the issue of appointment of non-Himachali candidates in Class-III and Class-IV jobs in government departments, accusing the ruling party of betraying the youth of Himachal in the guise of Covid-19 pandemic.
The Kinnaur legislator also hit out at the CM for participating in a religious event where, he alleged, Covid norms were thrown to the wind. “However, no case was registered against the chief minister,” said Negi asking if the state head was above the law.
Forest minister Rakesh Pathania, who participated in the discussions next, counted the works of the BJP government to tackle the corona crisis. He said in the previous Congress regime, leaders only took rounds of court. During the pandemic, the BJP distributed masks and fed the people.
“What did Congress do?” he asked adding that the opposition was not serious about the discussion and only wanted to take political advantage.
Congress legislator Nand Lal demanded white paper on the Covid-19 Response Fund received by the state government through donations.
He said there were no ventilators in the hospital in his constituency in Rampur, but the CM didn’t want to hear anything. The Covid care centres were in poor shape and there was no proper arrangement of food, he argued.
Congress stages walkout
Meanwhile, leader of opposition Mukesh Agnihotri led a walkout from the assembly stating that the ruling party was trying to throttle the opposition’s voice, after the latter were restrained from debating on the Covid crisis issue by assembly speaker Vipin Singh Parmar.