BJP walkout against reduced wards of Shimla civic body

[Representational Photo]

The Opposition BJP on Wednesday staged a walkout from the state Legislative Assembly in protest against the reduction of wards of the Municipal Corporation Shimla.

Before the walkout, the Opposition also raised slogans in the House. They lodged their protest for reducing the wards of the civic body from 41 to 34 by the government.

The state government had passed the Municipal Corporation Shimla Amendment Bill on the previous day, in the absence of the opposition.


BJP MLA Randhir Sharma raised the issue of reduction in the number of wards of Shimla Municipal Corporation through Point of Order, after the Question Hour. He sought to know why the government is repeatedly bringing ordinances 15 days before the Budget session. when the Vidhan Sabha is in session.

He said that bringing a bill to reduce the number of wards is against the rules when the elections have been announced.

Sharma said that the previous BJP government had increased the number of wards as per the rules.

He also opposed the change in the criteria for the reservation of wards for Scheduled Castes by the cabinet.

On the same issue, Leader of Opposition Jai Ram Thakur accused the government of rigging voter lists to win the Shimla Municipal Corporation elections and alleged that the government had made 11,000 bogus votes overnight.

He also said that the work of the Election Commission seems to have been taken over by the government, thereby crippling the autonomy of the commission.

He alleged that the government changed the rules thrice on March 14, March 25, and March 30 to win the corporation elections.

Jai Ram Thakur said that the government has reserved such wards for women, which have the least number of women voters.

Chief Minister Thakur Sukhwinder Singh Sukhu responding to the charges of the opposition said that progress cannot be brought about by walking out.

He said that the government has amended the Municipal Corporation Act by staying within the purview of the law.

The chief minister alleged that the opposition does not like good work.

He said that the Municipal Corporation Shimla elections were to be held before the Vidhansabha elections, but the BJP deliberately put these elections in legal trouble.

He said that under the Municipal Corporation Act, the number of wards has been reduced and fresh wards have been reserved for women.

He also advised the opposition to discuss the bills to be brought in the interest of the state.

Refuting the allegations of the opposition, Parliamentary Affairs Minister Harsh Vardhan Chauhan said that had the opposition been so much concerned, it would have discussed it in the house instead of leaving the house.

He said that the opposition is not serious about the discussion in the House and that the government has brought the ordinance within the ambit of the law.

Chauhan also said that it is the right of the government to bring the bill and the opposition cannot interfere in it.

Deputy Chief Minister Mukesh Agnihotri speaking on the same issue questioned the Leader of Opposition Jai Ram Thakur why he did not conduct the Municipal Corporation Shimla elections on time.

The reality is that the BJP fears defeat and that is why even today it is creating hurdles in the elections, he added.

He accused the opposition of working against the interests of Himachal and said that the people of the state would never forgive them.

Agnihotri said that the opposition also opposed the water cess, whereas Himachal is supposed to earn Rs 4,000 crore from it.

Assembly Speaker Kuldeep Singh Pathania ruled that no member of the opposition opposed it during the introduction of the bill.

He said that the bill had been passed on the previous day, hence there is no point in discussing it now.