Himachal Pradesh assembly starting from Monday likely to be stormy
| Monday, November 30, 2015 - 19:24
Shimla: The five-day winter session of the Himachal Pradesh assembly beginning on Monday in Dharamsala town is likely to be stormy as the opposition BJP is set to corner the ruling Congress over corruption charges against Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh.
On the other hand, the government would try to highlight its achievements in the last three years.
"We will not let go of our main issue of the chief minister's ouster over corruption and other charges," BJP state president Satpal Satti told IANS.
He said the demand would be raised both within and outside the assembly.
"We are going to hold a massive protest outside the assembly in Dharamsala on December 2," he added.
The chief minister landed in more trouble as the Enforcement Directorate (ED) registered a money-laundering case against him this month. The ED conducted searches in three states on November 20 regarding the case as well as sent a summon to Virbhadra Singh on November 27.
He was booked by the agency under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act after taking cognizance of a criminal case registered against him by the Central Bureau of Investigation in September.
"Our government is going to complete three years in office on December 25. It's the time to highlight our achievements in the assembly," Parliamentary Affairs Minister Mukesh Agnihotri told IANS.
He said right from day one of the Congress government in Himachal, the Bharatiya Janata Party led by Prem Kumar Dhumal had been indulging in personal attacks on Virbhadra Singh.
"We are ready for a debate on any issue, provided the opposition follows parliamentary norms," he added.
BJP leaders said they would aggressively take up the issues in the assembly.
"The CBI has conducted raids at the chief minister's residences (in Delhi and Shimla) in the disproportionate assets case. Another case has been filed by the ED. It will definitely be our core issue, apart from others," BJP legislator Suresh Bhardwaj said.
He said the day-to-day floor strategy would depend on government response.
Bhardwaj said that developmental works in Himachal were almost grounded and the issues faced by the common man were not addressed.
"You see the deteriorating condition of roads across the state. We will raise the issue in the assembly," he added.
Political observers said there was confusion in the BJP over a closed-door meeting of Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh with his arch rival and leader of opposition Prem Kumar Dhumal in Shimla last week.
The meeting, held ostensibly to ensure smooth functioning of the assembly session, was not in the knowledge of the state BJP leadership, said a senior BJP leader.
Sources close to Virbhadra Singh said the meeting was held to break the ice between the two political rivals.
For quite some time, both Virbhadra Singh and Dhumal have been targeting each other, mainly on the raging issue of corruption.
A total of five assembly sittings would be held in Dharamsala, for which the assembly secretariat has received 200 starred and 81 unstarred questions.