Himachal assembly to discuss corruption charges against CM


    The dead lock between the treasury and the opposition benches in state legislative assembly ended today as the speaker conceded their demand to hold a discussion on the corruption charges.

    As the house assembled for day’s proceeding, BJP member Sh. Ravinder Ravi demanded discussion under rule 67, which was turned down by Speaker Sh. B.B.L. Butail on Monday, the first day of the session.

    BJP member Sh. Suresh Bhardwaj questioned “Why is the government running away from discussion,” . “I have sought a reply from the state government and will give ruling only after getting the reply”, Butail said.

    Parliamentary Affairs Minister Sh. Mukesh Agnihotri said the discussion was not possible under rule 67. He said the government is ready to discuss the issue provided the members accept to discuss the issue under some other rule. But this agitated BJP members and they started raising slogans.

    Former minister and BJP member Rajeev Bindal said the “state government is behaving like a dictator by not allowing discussion on the issue of corruption.” Intervening during the heated arguments, Chief Minister Sh. Virbhadra Singh said the government was ready to discuss.

    Amidst protest and slogans shouting by both the sides, the speaker adjourned the house for 10 minutes. As the house assembled, the speaker made the announcement to allow discussion on December 4, the last day of the house.

    Later, leader of opposition Sh. Prem Kumar Dhumal told reporters said the issue on which notice had been given by Sh. Ravinder Ravi would be the topic of discussion in the house on December 4. He said the allegations on Sh. Virbhadra Singh were serious and needed discussion in the house.

    The Enforcement Directorate (ED) on November 20 had conducted searches at several places in three states, including Delhi, in connection with the money laundering probe against Sh. Virbhadra Singh. The ED registered the money-laundering case against him on November 15. The chief minister was booked under the Prevention of Money Laundering Act after the agency took cognizance of a criminal case registered against him by the Central Bureau of Investigation (CBI) in September.

    The ED investigation aims to find out how Sh. Virbhadra Singh and his family allegedly amassed wealth totaling Rs.6.1 crore between 2009 and 2011, which was disproportionate to his known sources of income, while serving as the Union Steel Minister.

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