BJP legislators on Monday walked out of Himachal Pradesh assembly over government decision to downgrade the civil hospital Shahpur. BJP leaders also blame health minister Kaul Singh Thakur for misleading the House by making wrong statements.

After the question hour, BJP MLA Sarveen Chaudhary moved a call attention motion under rule-62 on Shahpur hospital. She said the government had downgraded the civil hospital at Shahpur, which had led to resentment among the people. The hospital was catering to the needs of 54 panchayats, some areas of Jawali and Sinhuta.

In his reply, health minister Kaul Singh Thakur said the previous government had decided to upgrade the hospital just three months before elections on September 27, 2012. He said that Govt hadn’t made any financial provision for the same.

Kaul Singh also attacked opposition over the Nurpur hospital and said that the Congress had upgraded it to a 100-bed healthcare centre, but the BJP government had downgraded it to 50-bed hospital and then again upgraded it without increasing the staff.

This statement infuriated the opposition and BJP leader Rajiv Bindal, who was Health Minister during BJP tenure; blame Kaul Singh for misleading house. In a bid to diffuse the situation Speaker Brij Bihari Lal Butail said there would be no further discussion on the issue but this failed to pacify the opposition members as Bindal announced a walkout on the ‘wrong statement’ of the minster, after which the entire opposition walked out of the House.

Criticizing the opposition’s move to stage a walkout, parliamentary affairs minister Mukesh Agnihotri said the speaker had given the ample time to members on the issue. He alleged that BJP members do not want to sit in the House.

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