Himachal Pradesh Assembly's budget session starts on stormy not; BJP stages walkout
He said the financial condition of the state is not a secret and its debt liability currently stands at Rs 75,000 crore.The ruling Congress MLAs have also taken up the issue with the chief minister, but the situation has come to this as the previous BJP government opened various institutions without adhering to any parameters and without making any budgetary provision for the same, Chauhan said.Randhir Sharma of the BJP said a notice for an adjournment motion can be given an hour before the start of the session, adding that we gave the notice at 9.30 am.
The budget session of the Himachal Pradesh Assembly started on a stormy note on Tuesday as the opposition BJP staged a walkout, demanding the release of the last installment of the MLA Local Area Development (LAD) fund for which nine legislators of the saffron party had given an adjournment motion.
Pandemonium prevailed in the House as the members of the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) and the ruling Congress were involved in heated exchanges. The legislators of the saffron party subsequently walked out of the Hoise, shouting ''vidhayak nidhi jari karo''.
Immediately after the obituary references to former state minister Mansa Ram, Vipin Parmar of the BJP urged the chair to admit the adjournment motion to discuss the release of the MLA LAD funds.
''The previous government had made a budget provision for the fund and three installments amounting to Rs 1.5 crore were released, but the present government has not released the last installment of Rs 50 lakh,'' Parmar said, adding that it was the chief minister's new ''gift'' to the people of the hill state.
Industries and Parliamentary Affairs Minister Harshwardhan Chauhan said the adjournment notice was given in the morning and is under consideration. He said the financial condition of the state is not a secret and its debt liability currently stands at Rs 75,000 crore.
The ruling Congress MLAs have also taken up the issue with the chief minister, but the situation has come to this as the previous BJP government opened various institutions without adhering to any parameters and without making any budgetary provision for the same, Chauhan said.
Randhir Sharma of the BJP said a notice for an adjournment motion can be given an hour before the start of the session, adding that ''we gave the notice at 9.30 am''. Terming the government's decision to stop the release of the last installment ''anti-people'' and ''anti-development'', he asked when will the funds be released.
Intervening in the matter, Deputy Chief Minister Mukesh Agnihotri said Rule 67 is for raising very important issues but the BJP MLAs have given the notice in their own interest.
He said the current government inherited a debt liability of Rs 75,000 crore, of which loans worth Rs 27,000 crore were raised during the tenure of the previous government, besides the liabilities of Rs 11,000 crore pertaining to the payment of arrears to employees.
Agnihotri said despite the financial crunch, the Congress would fulfil its 10 guarantees given to the people of the state in the run-up to the Assembly polls.
Leader of Opposition Jai Ram Thakur said it was a matter of prestige for the MLAs and added that the chief minister, who used to talk about the MLAs' rights earlier, has changed his stance now.
Recalling that the Congress government in Himachal Pradesh had opened 21 colleges ahead of the 2017 Assembly polls, the former chief minister said the state's loan liability rose from Rs 27,000 crore to Rs 48,000 crore during the Congress regime from 2012 to 2017.
Chief minister Sukhvinder Singh Sukhu said 920 institutions were opened by the BJP government at the end of its term, without any budget provision and staff.
''Colleges were opened in panchayat ghars and there were no children in the schools. Seeing this, we decided to change the system as we have a responsibility towards people.
''We have responsibilities and duties towards the public, which the previous BJP government failed to discharge, and we will bring a white paper on the state's financial situation. The MLA fund has not been closed but only stopped and a decision regarding releasing the funds would be taken after reviewing the financial position at the end of this quarter,'' he said.
Not satisfied with the chief minister's reply, the BJP members staged a walkout.
Speaker Kuldeep Singh Pathania said the issue is also listed among the starred questions and rejected the motion.
(This story has not been edited by Devdiscourse staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)
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