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Monday, Oct 14, 2019

HP monsoon session: Oppn to target Jai Ram govt on changes in land law, illegal mining

The ruling BJP govt is likely to corner Congress on it’s poor show in the Lok Sabha polls during the 11-day session which begins on Monday

india Updated: Aug 22, 2019 10:34 IST
Gaurav Bisht
Gaurav Bisht
Hindustan Times, Shimla
Workers white washing walls ahead of Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha monsoon session which begins on August 19.
Workers white washing walls ahead of Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha monsoon session which begins on August 19. (HT File)
         

Host of issues ranging from change in rules of Himachal Pradesh Land Tenancy and Reforms Act 1972 to growing menace of wild animal in the state are likely to dominate the monsoon session of Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha which commence on Monday.

The opposition Congress, which was drubbed in all four Lok Sabha seats—Shimla, Mandi, Kangra and Hamirpur— has been lying low since the debacle and plans to corner the government on poor fiscal health and loans raised by the chief minister Jai Ram Thakur this session to set the ball rolling for the upcoming assembly elections.

“The BJP had been accusing the Congress for financial mess in the state. Time has come for them (BJP) to explain to the public what they have been doing to improve the condition. The government has failed to secure financial assistance from Centre,” leader of opposition Mukesh Agnihotri said.

“In order to meet its monetary demand, the state government will again have to raise a loan of ₹250 crore, shooting the liabilities to over ₹50,000 crores,” he added.

Illegal river bed mining and illicit liquor trade are other issues that the opposition is likely to raise during the 11-day session. The Congress party has constantly been raising questions at the BJP-led state government’s move to amend the rules in Section 118 of Land tenancy and Reforms Act that forbids non-Himachali agriculturists from purchasing land in Himachal, even as the Congress government had themselves amended the rules in 1988,1995, 1997 and 2014. Recently, the party had revived its old campaign ‘Himachal on sale’ to target the state government for allegedly trying to facilitate land sale to entrepreneurs and realtors from outside the state.

Rising road accidents and law and order situation are other issues the Congress is raise in the Vidhan Sabha. The party leaders are scheduled to meet on Sunday evening to discuss a strategy for the monsoon session.

On the other hand, the ruling BJP, which is upbeat after Lok Sabha polls victory, is expected to justify its move to amend the rules in Section 118 while cornering the opponent party on it’s poor performance in the polls.

The party could also move Vidhan Sabha speaker Dr Rajiv Bindal seeking disassociation of former power minister Anil Sharma from party’s legislature group as the leader is yet to renew his primary membership.

Sharma had resigned from the Jai Ram cabinet, days after the BJP refused ticket to his son Ashray Sharma from Mandi parliamentary seat. He was later fielded by Congress against sitting Lok Sabha member Ramswaroop Sharma.

“So far his (Anil Sharma) membership has not been renewed. Decision regarding his association with the party will be taken by legislator group,” state party chief Satpal Singh Satti confirmed to HT. The ruling party has already prepared a dossier claiming that Sharma’s activities were against the party and had also instructed local block unit in Mandi not to renew his membership.

The BJP legislature group is scheduled to meet on Monday morning to deliberate on it’s floor strategy for the session.

First Published: Aug 17, 2019 21:47 IST

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