Last Updated: September 18, 2023, 23:12 IST
The recent floods that ravaged Himachal Pradesh and the subsequent political slugfest over it reverberated even in the state assembly on the opening day of the monsoon session on Monday with the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party staging a walkout as its demand for allowing a debate on the monsoon devastation was rejected by the Speaker.
The Speaker rejected the adjournment motion moved by the opposition under Rule 67 while stating that notice for debate on the devastation caused by rains had already been received from the government under Rule 102. Agitated opposition MLAs, including LoP 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 monsoon, so attributing political motives to our concerns is not appropriate,” said Thakur.
As chief minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu started presenting his resolution on the damage caused by the 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 the state who had suffered losses during the havoc wreaked during the recent rains, whether help comes from the Centre or not.
The CM lashed out at the BJP for trying to indulge in politics even during such a crisis. He said when the sentiment of both sides was the same, why was the opposition trying to politicise the matter? Sukhu said the approval for Rs 2,600 crore for road construction under PM Gramin Sadak Yojana had been delayed by three months as it was due for approval in April 2023.
Meanwhile, BJP state president Rajeev Bindal announced a gherao of the Vidhan Sabha on September 25 in protest against the alleged deteriorating law and order situation, closure of institutions, inflation, non-fulfillment of guarantees, etc.
The BJP state president said, “Ever since the Congress government came to power, the law and order situation in the state has been deteriorating. People of the state have not forgotten the Chamba incident and recently a woman was paraded and tortured by her in-laws in the CM’s home district. Such incidents expose the poor law and order situation in the state. This government has failed on almost every front.”
“We will hold a massive protest and gherao the Vidhan Sabha on September 25. The aim is to question the government on its unfulfilled guarantees. The government has not lived up to the people’s expectations,” Bindal added.