Congress stages walkout alleging backdoor appointments

Pratibha Chauhan

Tribune News Service

Shimla, August 4

Accusing the BJP government of flouting norms to make backdoor appointments, the Congress on Wednesday staged a walkout in the Vidhan Sabha, demanding a White Paper on the issue.

Opposition members sought a debate under Rule 67 on the appointments being made by the government in "violation of rules". Congress Legislature Party (CLP) leader Mukesh Agnihotri, along with legislators Asha Kumari, Dhani Ram Shandil, ID Lakhanpal and Rajinder Rana, sought a debate on the issue in response to the adjournment notice given by them to the Speaker in the morning.

Speaker Vipin Parmar said the issue did not qualify for debate under Rule 67; moreover, a debate had already been held on it in response to a question raised during Question Hour earlier. He said debate could be held on the issue under Rule 130 later for which a notice had already been given by a member.

Agnihotri alleged, "All the appointments are being made from two Assembly segments, ignoring rest of the state and in one constituency almost 5,000 people had been given jobs, in violation of all norms."

He demanded that a White Paper be issued, giving details of the jobs given to people from each of the 68 Assembly segments. He said people were being appointed on outsource basis.

As the Speaker rejected the notice of the members under Rule 67, Congress legislators started raising slogans and staged a walkout.

Terming the behaviour of the Opposition as highly irresponsible, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said their only objective is to gain political mileage by misleading the House as well as people of the state.

"They have got into the habit of performing a ritual of walkout by raising issues daily under Rule 67, merely to make headlines," he remarked.

Thakur said he had hoped that today the House would function and important issues concerning the public would be raised.

Thakur said the government is fully prepared to satisfy the opposition but they are behaving irresponsibly. "I outright reject allegations of violation of norms in appointments and concentrating jobs in particular assembly segments levelled by the CLP leader as his only endeavour is to mislead the House and people of the state for gaining political mileage," he alleged.

The CM said the irresponsible behaviour of the Congress in the absence of senior leadership is evident in the House. "There appears to be a struggle for one-upmanship in the Congress even though it is their internal party matter," he said.

Courtesy: Tribune News Service

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