Vidhan Sabha In Greeting Mode
Himachal This Week Team
The four daylong winter session of Himachal Vidhan Sabha ended at Tapovan where all the members of house were in a greeting mode. There were four sittings during the session in which members took oath, speaker and deputy speaker elected, address by Governor and debate on the same. The hilly state has recently witnessed assembly elections in a cordial atmosphere that was also visible in and outside the house at Tapovan. Meanwhile, different delegations and people from different areas also gathered at Tapovan on all four days to greet and welcome their elected representatives.
Senior BJP leader and Nahan MLA Rajiv Bindal and Churah BJP MLA Hans Raj (right) were unanimously elected as speaker and deputy speaker, respectively, of the 13th Himachal Pradesh assembly.
‘Work Collectively For State’s Welfare’
Governor Acharya Devvrat in his address to the house exhorted the ruling and opposition parties should move ahead with a positive thinking and also that elected representatives should work for state’s development. The bitterness, if any, should be forgotten in the interest of Himachal where assembly elections have been held in a most cordial atmosphere, Governor said, adding that members should debate constructively on issues concerning the state that will help government in policy formation. He lauded the government for taking quick decision on lowering age limit for social security pension to those not having any income, releasing 3 per cent DA to employees and pensioners from July 2017, constituting a Cabinet sub-committee to tackle stray animal problem and allowing financial benefits to ex-servicemen for the period of service they rendered in the military. Governor said the government was already working on a vision policy document.
‘RSS Controlling Government’s Remote’
Speaking on the motion of thanks on the address of the Governor, Leader of the Congress Legislative Party (CLP) Mukesh Agnihotri said RSS interference has increased in the new government during its initial days. The RSS is controlling the gears in Jai Ram Thakur’s government, he added. The CLP leader said that Governor’s address was not according to opposition’s aspirations as it neither had direction nor priorities. He added that ministers will not benefit by criticising the previous government as people have already voted them out of power to sit in opposition now. Chief Minister has good relations in Delhi as he has proved it, said Agnihotri, pointing that government was talking about financial crisis immediately after taking over the reins in the state. He added that Chief Minister should get a bail out financial package from the Centre to bring the state out of financial crunch. If he is able to get the package, Jai Ram Thakur will always be remembered in Himachal’s history, he added.
* Chief Minister should get a bail out package from the Centre to bring the state out of financial crunch
-Mukesh Agnihotri, CLP Leader
‘I Control Steering, Gears’
Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said that he was controlling steering as well as gears to take the vehicle safely to its destination. Replying to the debate, he said there will be no dearth of funds for development even as the state is reeling under Rs 46500 crore debt liability. Modi government has extended liberal financial assistance to Himachal but it never acknowledged the same, he said, adding that the government would welcome positive suggestions from the opposition in the interest of the state. He asserted that there was no place for corruption and mafia in the BJP government. Days of liquor, forest and mining mafia that were active during previous government’s tenure are over now, said Chief Minister. Present government doesn’t believe in vendetta politics, said Jai Ram Thakur, adding that he speaks less but believes in working. Chief Minister assured the house that his government was not in a hurry to close educational institutes opened by the previous government. The BJP’s vision document would be fulfilled, said Chief Minister.
Days of liquor, forest and mining mafia that were active during previous government”s tenure are over now.
-Jai Ram Thakur Chief Minister
Relevance Of Tapovan
There is a need for discussion on holding a four daylong winter session of Vidhan Sabha at Tapovan and its relevance. What was achieved during this session can be gauged from the presence of different sections of the society? The visitors had not come for getting assurances but a meeting with elected representatives at Tapovan was like a festival for them. Was merger of Punjab’s hilly areas not a gift when Himachal achieved full statehood? Is gain of half Himachal is not visible in Tapovan’s role? There can be many pleas to dismiss it but political balance is visible here besides efforts to stop those propagating regionalism. The next governments will have to put in efforts if they consider it as a burden. Tapovan is a political tool but its economy can be explored. One needs to look at the expenses incurred by Himachalis residing in Pangi, Bharmour and Bara Bhangal to reach Shimla if they consider Vidhan Sabha Complex at Tapovan as unnecessary expenditure. It proves heavy people’s pocket and as expenses incurred on visit of more than fifty percent MLAs to reach Tapovan is less expensive. How is it of little importance if Vidhan Sabha session is held at Tapovan? Is it possible to enter secretariat in Shimla without having links? Is it easy to understand the state while sitting in the secretariat? Why not representation to the entire state for transfer to the secretariat should be provided if there is dire need to abolish this tradition at Tapovan? It is a subject of political research why visit Tapovan complex in large numbers. E-Vidhan Academy should be linked with Tapovan complex. The power centre may be in Shimla but political potential lies in lower plain areas. This complex should be viewed in political backdrop rather than focusing on expenditure incurred on it. One can feel many changes that connects secretariat’s pulse with ground. The large gatherings at Zorawar Stadium will tell the importance of this place.
Congress Stages Walkout
The opposition raised question over the absence of ruling party members in the house post lunch on the third day. The CLP leader Mukesh Agnihotri said the government was not serious about proceedings of the house. They walked out of the house. Speaker adjourned the house for 15 minutes. The proceedings started when Chief Minister, ministers and all members entered the house.