Shimla: The stalemate in the Himachal Pradesh assembly between the opposition BJP and the ruling Congress Friday continued for the third day with the former demanding the resignation of Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh.
Bharatiya Janata Party members demanded suspension of all work of the house and discussion on the Delhi High Court proceedings in the alleged money laundering case being probed against the chief minister.
As the house assembled in the morning, BJP member Mohinder Singh asked Speaker B.B.L. Butail that while his notice for an adjournment motion was rejected Thursday, the chief minister was allowed to give reply on the issue about the court proceedings.
Mohinder Singh also questioned the speaker about the permission granted to jailed Congress legislator Ram Kumar Chaudhary, who is facing murder charges, to remain absent from the ongoing session of the assembly.
He said the house, in the absence of the opposition Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP), granted exemption by violating house rules.
The speaker requested the BJP members to allow the proceedings of the house to continue. But the opposition members raised slogans against the chief minister in the midst of question hour.
As the question hour, which last for just 43 minutes, got over the speaker requested the BJP members to maintain decorum.
The speaker later adjourned the house for the day amid uproar.
The chief minister Thursday read out a statement in the house, saying that the “BJP is trying to draw unnecessary inferences from the court proceedings which is uncalled for”.
“The matter is already under consideration of the (Delhi) high court.”
He said it would not be proper for him or anybody else to make any comments on the proceedings in the court.
“I would advise my friends from the BJP to allow the law to take its own course,” he said.
Official sources said the BJP’s demand over the chief minister’s resignation came in the wake of the central government’s submission in the Delhi High Court Wednesday that there was enough material on record to register a First Information Report (FIR) against Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh in a money laundering case.
Appearing before Delhi High Court Chief Justice G. Rohini and Justice Jayant Nath, Additional Solicitor General (ASG) Sanjay Jain said: “There is a clear case of money laundering.”
“Prima facie there is enough material on record to register an FIR and it is for the CBI to explain why it is holding back the case. It’s a clear case of money laundering,” said Jain.
The court was hearing a Public Interest Litigation (PIL) filed by Prashant Bhushan on behalf of NGO Common Cause, seeking a CBI inquiry into the corruption allegations against Virbhadra Singh when he was union steel minister.
Bhushan told the court there were some recent instances of money laundering and corruption by Virbhadra Singh’s family members. The Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) initiated a preliminary inquiry one-and-a-half years ago but it has gone nowhere, argued Bhushan.
The court posted the matter for Aug 20 when it will have a look at the status report filed by the CBI.