Shimla, September 18
The Opposition BJP today staged a walkout on the opening day of the monsoon session of the Vidhan Sabha as their demand for allowing debate on devastation caused by the recent monsoon under Rule 67 was rejected by Speaker Kuldeep Pathania.
The Speaker rejected the adjournment motion moved by the Opposition under Rule 67 while stating that a notice for debate on the devastation caused by rains had already been received from the government under Rule 102. “Since the subject matter of the resolution moved by the Opposition and the government is the same, the government resolution under Rule 102 will take precedence under sub Rule 6 of Rule 69. All the members can take part in the debate after postponing the business,” said Pathania.
Agitated opposition MLAs, including Leader of Opposition Jai Ram Thakur, Vipin Parmar and Randhir Sharma, said no doubt the subject matter for the debate was the same but the intention of the government was different. “Nothing can be more important than discussing the loss of life and property during the monsoons so attributing political motives to our concerns is not appropriate,” said Jai Ram Thakur, Leader of Opposition.
As Chief Minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu started presenting his resolution on the damages caused by rains with the permission of the Speaker, BJP legislators led by Jai Ram Thakur staged a walkout, while raising slogans. However, they returned to the house after some time.
Sukhu said the Himachal Government would bring a special relief package for the people of Himachal who had suffered losses during the havoc wreaked during the recent rains, whether help comes from the Centre or not.
“You are saying double-engine government then why are you hesitating to seek help from the Centre. You have been demanding holding of the monsoon session then why are you now running away from the debate,” the Chief Minister asked.
Sukhu said the Himachal Government was hopeful that the Centre would declare the rains a national calamity as it had done in the case of Kedarnath, Joshimath and Bhuj tragedies so that the state received liberal financial assistance. The Chief Minister said people from all sections of society had donated liberally towards the Disaster Relief Fund and urged the BJP MLAs to also donate liberally so that the affected families can be given maximum possible help.
The CM lashed out at the BJP for trying to indulge in politics during a crisis. He said when the sentiment of both sides was same then why is the Opposition trying to politicise the matter.
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