Tapovan: On the second day of winter session of Himachal Pradesh Vidhan Sabha, ruling party and the Opposition resolved the issues, which had marred the first day of session, and ensured normal functioning of the Vidhan Sabha.
Earlier, Vidhan Sabha Speaker Brij Bihari Lal Butail clarified that he had given only one ruling and rejected the notice on the ground that more than one issue had been clubbed.
BJP MLA Rikhi Ram Kaundal raised the issue of media reports in which the Chief Minister had made derogatory words against the members of the Opposition over the protest staged in the House yesterday. Leader of Opposition Prem Kumar Dhumal also demanded Chief Minister to clarify over it.
Responding over media reports, Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh clarified that he had not made any remarks in the media about the conduct of the Opposition in the House. He clarified that he did not use any derogatory words against the Leader of the Opposition or any other member of the house. He said that denigrating a political opponent would also lower his esteem as he was also a politician and there was no question of making uncharitable remarks.
Thereafter, the Speaker proceeded with question hour and the days proceedings were conducted smoothly.
Issue of inadequate supply of ration in PDS was raised by Mohinder Singh. He stated that essential items like pulses, sugar, edible oil, flour and other items weren’t available from past one year. Mohinder Singh said that Govt had implemented Rajiv Gandhi Ann Yojna in the Food Security Act, without any discussion in the House, to ensure food security, but the public distribution system (PDS), through which it was being implemented, had virtually collapsed. He also targeted Civil Supplies Minister GS Bali and stated that he’s making announcements without any survey or data and there was nothing on the ground.
Mohinder Singh asked Minister to clarify the status of wheat and rice procurement. He also raised the reports of substandard wheat flour being supplied to people and also complaints of unavailability of ration in the PDS shops.
Congress leader Asha Kumari came into Bali’s defense and said that the Opposition was criticising the scheme without any valid reasons. She said that the scheme was initiated to provide succour to the poor, whereas Chief Minister asked for the suggestions to overcome some shortcomings in its implementation.
Heated argument between GS Bali and Mohinder Singh also witness over the transport services. Mohinder Singh said that department failed to provide transport facilities to school children and stated that free travel facility was meaningless. Earlier, Transport Minister said the government was spending Rs 30 crore on providing free travel facility to students. Chief Minister also intervene in the discussion and said the state road transport was acquiring 1,300 new buses which would enable it to provide adequate services for students who were being provided free travel facility. The issue was raised by Ishwar Dass Dhiman.
The issue of monkeys affecting farmers in the state was also raised in the house by BJP leaders Thakur Gulab Singh and Leader of opposition Prem Kumar Dhumal. Thakur demanded for the “concrete policy” to protect farmer’s crops, vegetables and fruits from monkeys.
Leader of Opposition Prem Kumar Dhumal also asked the government to make earnest efforts to get a meeting of national wild life board convened and convince the Centre on lifting of ban on export of monkeys.
Congress leader Jagjivan Pal suggested mass culling of monkeys and Industry Minister Mukesh Agnihotri, who was replying on behalf of Forest Minister Thakur Singh Bharmouri, accepted it as a serious issue and said that the government was following a multi-pronged strategy to save crops from wild animals. He also assured to take up it with Centre Govt to conduct a meeting of the national board constituted for the export of animals, which would decide on the ban on export of monkeys. The minister said that the government would expedite efforts to get the High Court stay on ban on killing of monkeys vacated.