Walkouts Mar Budget Session

Himachal This Week

Winter Session of Himachal Assembly has been marred by walkouts by the opposition. The Congress members have staged walkout from  the House on first three days of the session. The opposition staged walkout on the first day demanding debate on Section 118. On the second day, it staged walkout while demanding a debate on transfers of employees in the state. On the third day the Congress members again staged a walkout from the house on the issue of rehabilitation of Bhakra dam oustees in Bilaspur.

The Congress has taken initiative to play its role if Budget Session is a political show. However three walkouts on three consecutive days is likely to affect political environment in future. The walkout by opposition from the house has now become a tradition of Vidhan Sabha proceedings. No one can deny the importance of issue on which Congress members staged walkout as who doesn’t want a debate on Section 118. There has to be an issue for political battle and the BJP too had followed this tradition. The gap between right and wrong will finish if decisions will be taken outside democratic decency of political opposition. On the other hand, one fails to understand the need to present policies, programmes, projects and scheme in new shape with the change of guards in this hilly state. As a result, transfers, establishment of offices, schools, colleges, health institutes and Section 118 become issues. How can one know the favours doled out by governments or its misuse encouraged mafia if there is no debate on Section 118? Was any white paper ever released that could reveal the true picture? If this issue is related to social pride, then how Section 118 was misused besides understanding the politicking that was practiced by making this section as a tool. Reports reveal that Section 118 either encouraged land mafia or scared away the investors. When would be there a debate about the circumstances under which big industrial houses and investment possibilities shifted from this state? The Congress needs to answer many questions as a responsible opposition. A debate is must to find out the solution for ease of doing business in Himachal. The Congress has the power and courage to stage walkout but opposition’s potential lies in constructive debate. It can also be an opportunity for the ruling party to have debate form evolving political consensus on such issues. Democratic set up allows debate on every policy and law but ignoring it will construe as arrogance. People always wait that ruling and opposition members find a solution for their problems. The walkouts by opposition will also raise questions on the ruling party.

* Present situation has arisen due to controversial statement by Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur. He has issued a statement regarding amendment in Section 118

-Mukesh Agnihotri Congress Legislative party Leader

* The Congress had simplified and amended Section 118 on three occasions. Present government has no such intentions and no decision has been taken on this issue

-Jai Ram Thakur Chief Minister

Independent MLAs Support CM

Two independent MLAs in Himachal Assembly have extended their support to Chief Minister for the welfare of their constituencies. Hoshiyar Singh from Dehra and Prakash Rana expressed faith in Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s successful vision and development agenda while extending support to chief Minister.

Highlights…

* Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur, holding finance portfolio, presented supplementary grant demands of Rs 3327.47 crore

* Economic survey of 2017-18 presented om March 8

* Himachal’s budget for 2018-19 presented on March 9

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