Opposition walkout from assembly seeking more time to discuss amendment in HPMC Act


Opposition Bhartiya Janta Party resorted walkout in the state assembly today alleging that it had not been given ample time to speak on the Himachal Pradesh Municipal Corporation (Amendment) Bill 2013, brought by government for clearing by the house as it was already promulgated as an ordinance by the Governor recently, reverting provision of direct election of Mayor and Deputy Mayor of MCs in the state.

When Ravinder Singh Ravi( Dehra-BJP) wanted to speak on the bill, he was not allowed by the Speaker Brij Behari Lal Butail stating that he would not allot more time as ample time had been given to opposition members to speak on the bill.

“Since Business Advisory Committee has itself allotted only 20 minutes to speak on each bill and I had already given more time to the members of opposition, I could not allow them to speak more”. Speaker said.

This agitated the opposition and it resorted walkout alleging that voice of its members was being gagged who want fruitful discussion on the important bills.

Earlier Town and Country Planning Minister, Sudhir Sharma had presented the bill for discussion and pass by the house stating that system made by the last BJP government after amending HPMC Act 1994 did not work out successfully.

The government has already reverted provisions of HPMC (amendment) Act, 2012 after promulgating HPMC (Amendment) Ordinance 2013 by Governor of Himachal Pradesh in July 2013.

BJP members opposed the bill stating that there was no urgency to bring the legislation in the assembly in hurry as it would become applicable by the next three years. However it was being amended without observing the merits of earlier provisions made by the last BJP rule.

Suresh Bhardwaj said that the government should not bring this bill as it would not be applied right now and it would be against the privilege of house if it could not be implemented immediately.

He said that the state government has enough powers to do away the decision taken by MC if it is not in the interest of people.

Rajiv Bindal said that the bill was a wrong move on the part of government as the reason and object sited in the bill does not exist at all.

He said that any move by the Mayor and Deputy Mayor could not be enforced on the house as the majority of house could differ on the view in the house, which could be set aside by it ignoring the contention of mayor and deputy mayor.

In absence of opposition, house adopted the bill by voice vote.

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