Uproar in Himachal Pradesh assembly over transfer of ‘dead’ employees
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Uproar in Himachal Pradesh assembly over transfer of ‘dead’ employees

Congress claims over 20,000 employees transferred in the new government’s two-month tenure; legislators stage walkout.

india Updated: Mar 08, 2018 15:28 IST
Gaurav Bisht
Gaurav Bisht
Hindustan Times, Shimla
HP assembly,Himachal assembly,Himachal Pradesh
Senior Congress leader Virbhadra Singh with party MLAs staging a walkout at Vidhan Sabha in Shimla on Wednesday.(Deepak Sansta/HT)

Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and opposition Congress MLAs traded charges over alleged large-scale transfers of government employees on second day of the budget session in the Himachal Pradesh assembly on Wednesday.

Later, the opposition legislators staged a walkout from the House alleging that even dead employees were shown as transferred in the two-month tenure of Jai Ram Thakur-led government in the state.

Soon after the question hour, Vidhan Sabha speaker Rajiv Bindal informed the House about an adjournment notice from Congress MLA Harshwardhan Chauhan wherein the opposition demanded suspension of business to discuss the issue.

The adjournment motion was supported by MLAs Nand Lal and Jagat Singh Negi. The House again witnessed commotion when the opposition MLAs interrupted the speaker claiming that in its two-month tenure, the BJP government has transferred more than 20,000 employees.

They stood up from benches and exchanged barbs with the treasury benches.

Congress legislature party (CLP) leader Mukesh Agnihotri claimed that even dead employees were transferred during Jai Ram’s tenure, leading to another bout of exchange of charges between the ruling and opposition parties. The speaker quoted rule 67 of the Vidhan Sabha to which the Congress MLAs hurriedly walked out from the House while raising slogans.

Minister condemns walkout

Law and parliamentary affairs minister Suresh Bhardwaj condemned the walkout by the opposition, claiming that more 5 lakh employees were transferred during the Congress regime. He said the Congress was trying to create a issue out of a non-issue. “Staging walkouts from the House is the only strategy of the Congress party. The government is ready to take up the matter,” he said.

Bindal again read out the adjournment motion moved by the Congress. Chief minister Jai Ram Thakur criticised the behavior of Congress legislators. “I am hurt by the manner in which the Congress legislators are behaving in the House and seeking adjournment over non-serious issues under rule 67,” he said.

“It’s just that the Congress is trying to make a mockery of rule 67 which is used for seeking adjournments on serious issues of immediate concern. It is not necessary that what happened in the past will happen now,” he said, taking a jibe at his predecessor Virbhadra Singh. I am ready to place records over the transfers made during the Congress rule.”

The lone CPM legislator Rakesh Singha sought clarification on the transfer issue.

To this, Bindal said replied he has not accepted the notice and Singha could discuss the issues when it comes up later under different rules of the Vidhan sabha.

The CM apprised Singha that he can discuss the issue with him later. Earlier, CLP leader Mukesh Agnihotri objected to the CM’s assertion that his government will not buckle under any pressure, with reference to making amendments in Section 118 of the Land Tenancy Act.

“I feel that the beginning of session has not been good. Our government is open to take forward the matter through discussion,” the CM said.

First Published: Mar 08, 2018 15:01 IST