Himachal BJP again boycotts assembly session

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Shimla: The Bharatiya Janata Party in Himachal Pradesh Tuesday boycotted the assembly session for the third consecutive day.

As the house assembled, Speaker B.B.L. Butail noted the absence of the opposition BJP members.

“The opposition is again absent,” he said.

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Replying to the budget debate, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh slammed the BJP for remaining absent from the house.

“It’s for the first time that the opposition has not only interrupted the governor’s address but also boycotted the budget speech and discussions thereon,” he said.

The chief minister said this was against the traditions of democracy.

Virbhadra Singh said, “It was a move to pressurise the government on the inquiries into acts of omission and commission and wrongdoings in the previous BJP regime, those in HPCA (Himachal Pradesh Cricket Association) and other matters.”

“No amount of this pressure tactics can deter us from the path of doing justice to the enquiries.”

He said the BJP members were giving more importance to the Feb 16 rally of the party’s prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi at Sujanpur in Hamirpur district than to the assembly session.

Virbhadra Singh said the opposition was giving frivolous reasons for being absent.

“I strongly condemn it. This reflects the shallowness and immaturity of the leadership, especially when leader of opposition (Prem Kumar Dhumal) happens to be the former chief minister, twice in the past,” he said.

The chief minister said the questions raised by the BJP members could also not be replied to in their absence and that they have set a wrong precedent.

“They should not forget that they are cheating the people who have sent them to the Vidhan Sabha for raising their issues.”

The opposition has been staging walkouts and boycotting the assembly for the past seven days.