Monsoon session: Furore in HP Assembly over benami land deals – chandigarh
The Opposition on Tuesday created a furore in the Assembly over benami land transactions, and suspicious sale and purchase of properties in Himachal.
As soon as the House assembled, Congress legislator Rajinder Singh Rana asked about the adjournment notice given by the Opposition under Rule 67 seeking discussion on benami land deals and suspicious sale and purchase of properties in the state.
However, speaker Vipin Singh Parmar denied permission to raise the issue, saying the notice had been forwarded to the government for the final decision. The speaker said he will allow discussion after receiving the government’s reply. Dissatisfied with the response, Congress leaders started raising slogans and demanded that the matter be discussed. The speaker said he will not allow the discussion but if the Opposition tables any documentary evidence, he will examine it.
In response, Rana asked, “What is the government hiding? Why is the Opposition not being allowed to raise the matter?”
When they did not get their way, the Opposition staged a walkout. Parliamentary affairs minister Suresh Bhardwaj said, “The House has already held discussions under Rule 67, which lasted three days. The Opposition is raking up the issue for the sake of sensationalism and in doing so is causing losses worth lakhs by disrupting the question hour.”
“Notice for Rule 67 was given in the morning but no facts were stated in it. How can the matter be discussed without facts?” he said, adding the matter had been forwarded to officials and will be discussed under an appropriate rule.
Chief minister Jai Ram Thakur also condemned the Opposition’s behaviour. “A lot of information has to be collected to run the question hour and it should not be disrupted. Earlier, too, the government had allowed an adjournment motion on Covid-19 given the gravity of the issue. The Opposition had raised the issue but did not hold any logical discussion.”
“We need time because the matter pertains to the entire state. The Opposition should exercise some restraint. It is not appropriate walk out of the house just to remain in the limelight,” said Thakur.
Opposition stages protest outside Speaker’s office
The Opposition on Tuesday morning staged a protest outside the speaker’s office. Several Congress members, including leader of opposition Mukesh Agnihotri, staged the sit-in before the proceedings of the house began, alleging their voice was not being heard.
After a brief protest, the Opposition members met with the Speaker. The chief minister condemned the protest, saying, “Today, members of the opposition sat on a dharna outside the Speaker’s office. This has never happened before and it is condemnable. A wrong precedent should not be started.”