Ruckus in House as Agnihotri not allowed to raise issue

Pratibha Chauhan

Tribune News Service

Shimla, August 11

Tempers ran high in the Vidhan Sabha today with treasury benches and opposition members engaging in heated exchanges as both sides even challenging each other to step out to settle scores.

There was complete pandemonium in the house as Congress legislators trouped to the well of the house and stood next to the Speaker's podium, raising slogans. The opposition got infuriated when Speaker Vipin Parmar turned down the request of Leader of Opposition Mukesh Agnihotri to let him raise the issue of expunging of Congress MLA Jagat Singh Negi's speech given in the house yesterday.

Trouble was brewing since yesterday with BJP members taking strong exception to remarks made by Negi against the RSS. With the Speaker not allowing Agnihotri to speak, the Congress MLAs started raising slogans. The question hour was taken up during the sloganeering by opposition members, who finally staged a walkout after 35 minutes.

Condemning the Congress, Chief Minister Jai Ram Thakur said the house will run as per rules and not as per the wishes of the opposition. "I am shocked at the manner in which Congress MLAs, including Leader of Opposition, had threatened and dared our MLAs to come forward to settle scores," he remarked. He added that this was nothing short of goondaism which is against the rich traditions and dignity of the house.

He said the behaviour of Negi was highly objectionable, condemnable and unacceptable. "When opposition members threaten and use derogatory language three is bound to be reaction by our MLAs. They gave notice under Rule 67 for a debate on price rise but not they are resorting to such unruly behaviour," he said. He added that rather than speaking on the topic, Negi deviated and started making remarks against the RSS, which is absolutely wrong.

The Chief Minister said the Congress had even insulted the chair of the Speaker. This, he said, would not be tolerated. "The absence of senior leadership in the Congress, both inside and outside the house, is so evident," he remarked. He appreciated the Speaker Vipin Parmar for running the house smoothly as per rules.

Speaker Vipin Parmar said the house will run as per rules and the entire speech of Negi had not been expunged. "The objectionable remarks he made against the RSS was wrong. I am proud of my association with the RSS, just like the PM, ministers and BJP MLAs are as it has instilled in us a spirit of nationalism, values, confidence and commitment," Parmar stated.

Parliamentary Affairs Minister Suresh Bhardwaj condemned Negi for stepping out from his seat and threatening BJP MLAs. "Even if the opposition has some issues, they can raise it personally with the Speaker and not by behaving in such an unruly manner," he stated.

Courtesy: Tribune News Service

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