Irked over Virbhadra poem, Congress stage walkout

Budget Session

Shimla: The congress legislators today staged a walkout in the Vidhan Sabha after the treasury benches failed to restrain one of their speakers from reciting a poem that contained objectionable references to former chief minister Vribhadra Singh.

Participating in the budget debate, Dile Ram of BJP started reciting a satirical poem about Virbhadra Singh and functioning of the earlier congress government, which was objected to by the congress legislators.

Speaker Tulsi Ram intervened and asked the speaker to confine his speech to the budget proposals, which Dile Ram defied. Finding the treasury benches egging the legislator into reciting the poem, the congressmen walked out of the house in protest.

Speaking outside the house, former minister GS Bali said that the treasury benches were not ready for a serious debate on important issues and were belittling the whole exercise.

Earlier, Vidya Stokes, leader of the opposition, opening the debate said that the budget lacked direction. The balancing act attempted had failed to incorporate the impact that would be felt because of the 6th Pay Commission, she said.

Stokes said that the government at one end was promising teaching jobs to the youth and at the other was threatening to sack PTA teachers en mass. “This is nothing but political victimization”, she said, “as the PTA recruitments were done by the congress government.”

She asked for tuning the state technical education according to the needs of industry because a mismatch was failing to provide employment to the youth. Stressing on the need to give another direction to agriculture, Stokes said that Agro Parks through private public participation (PPP) need to be set up for displaying saleable products.

There was ample scope for floriculture cash crops as well as processed food products. A single window clearance system needs to put in place for fast tracking agri projects, she said. Urmil Thakur (BJP) and Kuldeep Pathania (Congress) also participated in the debate.

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