Speech has no mention of corruption charge, mining mafia: Opposition

In what could be termed as “unprecedented” for the quiet hill State of Himachal Pradesh, the Bharatiya Janata Party on Monday staged a noisy walkout during the Governor’s address on the very first day of the budget session.

The Opposition members, who listened to the address in the beginning, were put off later when they did not find any mention about the corruption charges they had levelled against the government and the charge sheet they had given to the Governor. The Opposition legislators, who had never questioned the customary speech of the Governor, alleged that it was just laced with the government’s so-called achievements.

“There was no mention of the party’s charge sheet against the government on corruption, the CBI probe and prevailing law and order situation,” the Leader of the Opposition, Prem Kumar Dhumal, told reporters. He claimed that the government was trying to take credit for schemes accomplished by the previous BJP government.

Mr. Dhumal said the mining mafia was illegally transporting sand out of the State, while enjoying the government’s patronage. The BJP in its charge sheet had demanded an inquiry into the mining mafia.

As the House assembled thereafter, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh condemned the BJP’s action and said it was a sign of deep frustration. The Opposition had no regard for constitutional norms and conventions. The same issues could have been raised during the motion of thanks on the Governor’s address, he said.

In her formal address, Governor Urmila Singh said the government had recognised the importance of providing prompt and efficient health services. It had provided free generic medicines in all government hospitals. .

Three new state-of-the-art industrial areas were being developed in Una, Solan and Kangra districts with high priority accorded to the food processing industry. With the new investments in the State, exports had reached around Rs. 3,000 crore per annum.

For tapping the State’s hydropower potential, 8,432 MW of hydel power had been harnessed, she added.