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Winter session of HP Assembly begins on stormy note

The opposition MLAs were demanding a discussion on investors meet under rule 67 (adjournment motion), for which few of them had submitted a notice to the Speaker earlier.

Archana Phull | Dharamshala |

The winter session of Himachal Pradesh on Monday began on a stormy note with opposition Congress staging walkout from the House on the issue of global investors meet.

The opposition MLAs were demanding discussion on investors meet under rule 67 (adjournment motion), for which few of them had submitted a notice to the Speaker earlier.

Immediately after the obituary references for four MLAs, who passed away in past months, after Monsoon session of the state Assembly, and the introduction of two newly-elected MLAs of Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) in by-polls- Vishal Nehria (Dharamshala) and Reena Kashyap (Pachad), leader of opposition, Mukesh Agnihotri raised the issue. He said the Congress party welcomes any investment in Himachal, but is opposed to the way the BJP government has gone about it.

Speaker, Dr Rajiv Bindal, however, interrupted Agnihotri and said he had received the notice under rule 67 at 12.28 PM. He said he would give a ruling on the notice.

The Congress members did not relent and started raising slogans against the government. Infuriated, the BJP members raised counter slogans against Congress. There were heated exchanges for few minutes, following which the Congress Legislative Party staged walkout from the House.

The Speaker said he had received notice of Congress MLAs, including Mukesh Agnihotri, Harshwardhan Chauhan and Mohan Lal Brakta for discussion on global investors meet under rule 67. Before this, some Questions by Congress MLAs Asha Kumari, Rajender Rana, and Vikramaditrya Singh have already been given on the same issue. He said some BJP members have also given notices under rule 130 for this discussion. The Speaker said the issue would be discussed in the House, but rejected the notices for adjournment motion.

Chief Minister, Jai Ram Thakur termed the global investors meet a historic event and said he was pained at the behavior of the opposition members. He said every government tries for development of the state with its own vision. However, there have been some governments in the past had no policy or intention to develop the state. “They came into power just to enjoy,” he said.

Thakur said the BJP government in Himachal is working with new thinking. “The whole world is working like that. We have nothing to hide and are working transparently,” he said.

The CM said was it not true that the Congress-ruled states are also holding investor meets, whether Punjab, Rajasthan or Chhattisgarh. “Punjab Chief Minister, Captain Amarinder Singh even sought information from us on investors meet,” he said. He said if Himachal government has done it, then why Congress is alleging a scam. “They are thinking the way, they have been doing themselves,” he said.

He objected to the language used by Congress members in the notice and said it reflected their narrow-mindedness.

He said the leader of the opposition, who held the portfolio of industries in previous Congress government, did try, but failed for lack of will power.

“They went to Ahmedabad, Delhi, Bengaluru, and Mumbai and spent lakhs of Rupees on the roadshows to invite investors, but the result was zero. They just did ‘char dham yatra’. That’s all,” Thakur said.

He said the present government worked with a holistic view of investment in different sectors with proper planning, which took one year. “Even the Prime Minister came here as our Ambassador and told investors that he was a host, not guest,” he said. He said the investors meet by the Himachal government involved lowest expenditure in the country.

He said the government is ready for discussion in rule 130, but the Congress wants to sensationalize the issue.”