The Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha passed the State Land Revenue (Amendment) Bill to undo the changes made by the previous BJP led Govt and restore the earlier provisions to ensure that mutations are attested by revenue officers during field visits only.
During the debate on the Bill, Revenue Minister Kaul Singh Thakur alleged that the Act was amended with ulterior motives and misused by the then government to facilitate benami land deals.
Kaul Singh Thakur blamed that the BJP got the Act amended as it wanted to benefit its close associates, particularly those who had obtained permission under Section 118, Land Reforms and Tenancy Act. Thakur said that now Himachal Pradesh is not for sale.
However, opposition BJP denied Thakur’s allegations and opposed the amendment bill. Senior BJP leader Gulab Singh said that the Act was amended as mutations were being delayed for various reasons and also the parties involved in the sale deeds lived out of the state and could not afford to come again for the purpose. Shimla legislature Suresh Bhardwaj also speaks on the matter and opposes the bill.
Two more amendment Bills were introduced in the Vidhan Sabha to help restore the provisions for indirect elections of Mayor and Deputy Mayor and presidents and vice-president of urban local bodies that were replaced by the previous BJP regime to pave way for direct elections. The Bills seek to replace the State Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Ordinance and the State Municipal (Amendment) Ordinance promulgated on July 27.