Himachal Assembly: Opposition walks out, demands immediate discussion
Agitated by the name change campaign and scraping of some schemes by Congress after coming into power, opposition walked out of Assembly when their demand for immediate discussion was put on hold
Shimla: The BJP on Wednesday walked out from the Himachal Pradesh assembly over the state government’s move to change names of schemes and projects named after former prime minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee.
As the House assembled, BJP members asked about the fate of their notice on adjournment motion on the issue. Speaker BB Butail said the notice given by them was under consideration and they would be allowed to hold discussion on the issue sometime later in the session. But the opposition insisted on immediate discussion. Leader of Opposition Prem Kumar Dhumal insisted that the discussion be listed on Wednesday’s agenda.
He said the state’s budget would be presented Thursday and then the discussion on budget would follow in the coming days.
“If the discussion is not allowed today, it will go beyond March 31. This issue is very important. If the discussion is listed after so much delay, it will lose urgency,” Dhumal said.
This agitated the opposition members and they started raising slogans against the government. The question hour, however, continued in the midst of the ruckus. Later, they staged a walkout.
The speaker said: “It’s unfortunate that some members staged a walk-out despite my assurance to them that they will be given an opportunity for discussion”.
Earlier, Butail exhorted all members to ensure that the house ran peacefully. Official sources told a news agency that less than three months after taking power, the Virbhadra Singh-led Congress government has begun erasing the former prime minister’s name from many state-run schemes. Of the dozen-odd schemes named after the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader when the party ruled the state, some schemes have been scrapped and others renamed.
While the plan to distribute bags with Vajpayee’s photos embossed on them has been axed, the names of Atal Swasthya Seva, a free ambulance service, and the Atal School Uniform Scheme, which benefits around 10 lakh students, have been has been changed. IANS