The debate on budget proposals for 2018-19 presented by the Chief Minister, Jai Ram Thakur in the state Assembly on 9 March continued on Wednesday with Congress members terming it a ‘below average’ budget.

Participating in the debate in the House, Congress MLA from Shillai, Harshvardhan Chauhan said the first and the last budget of any government is considered special and people wait for it. “However, the budget proposals of the new BJP government fail to impress. They talk of the old schemes under new banners,” he said.

Chauhan said the budget statement by CM was silent on the resource mobilisation, and while the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) was critical of the loans taken by previous Congress government, it has presented a budget dependent on loans.

The Congress MLA said there were talks that the CM office was being run by Rashtriya Swayam Sewak Sangh (RSS). “The Chief Minister’s office should not give the impression that it is dominated by one ideology.

It is for all the people and it has to function for the state,” he said. BJP member from Sundernagar, Rakesh Jamwal said the former Congress chief minister and the senior most member of the House, Virbhadra Singh was appreciative of the budget proposals by the BJP CM.

He asked the Congress members to toe the line of the senior leader and laud the CM for the budget, which is meant for all the sections of the society.

Jamwal hit out at the allegation of RSS running the government in HP and said, “The RSS is not running the government. Chief Minister, Jai Ram Thakur had been a RSS worker. A Swayam Sewak of RSS, Jai Ram Thakur is running the government with all honesty,” he said.

BJP member, Narender Thakur from Hamirpur termed the budget as people friendly and said the Congress MLAs were criticising it for the heck of it.