Demand probe, resignation of CPS Sukh Ram Chowdhary in alleged corruption matter
Shimla: Demanding resignation of chief parliamentary secretary Sukh Ram Chowdhary over allegations of misuse of office for obtaining wrongful subsidy, congress members today partially disrupted question hour and sought immediate discussion on an adjournment motion. When disallowed, they staged a walked out in protest. At start of question hour, senior congress man Gangu Ram Musafir, himself a former speaker, was on his feet and demanded suspension of the question hour to take up discussion on the adjournment motion moved under rule 67 on Friday.
He let the house know that as it was an issue about people occupying high government positions and went onto allege that Sukh Ram had wrongly availed subsidy under a tubewell scheme by â€œmisusingâ€ his official position. An old well had been shown as a new one to obtain Rs 4 lakh subsidy under an agriculture department scheme, which warranted immediate discussion, he said.
Supporting suspension of the question hour Harshwardhan Chauhan, a congress legislator from Sirmaur district said the adjournment motion needed to be taken up immediately as it was a corruption matter and there was an apprehension that records could be tempered with.
The duo also demanded immediate resignation of the CPS for facilitating a free and impartial probe.
However, speaker Tulsi Ram rejected the motion, maintaining that the issue was only a complaint against an individual and not of such importance that question hour needed to be suspended.
He said that a notice for adjournment motion from Gangu Ram Musafir, Harshwardhan Chauhan, Prem Singh and Kush Parmar had been received but he did not deem it a fit case to be admitted under rule 67 as the issue was not of immediate relevance.
Not satisfied with the chairs ruling, senior congress leader Kaul Singh Thakur asked the speaker to reconsider his decision as it
involved misuse of public funds by people occupying high government positions. He also supported the demand for the CPS resignation.
Sukh Ram Chowdhary, vehemently denied the allegations and offered to quit this assembly seat if found guilty in an enquiry.
Intervening in the matter, Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal said that the government would probe the matter and the report would tabled in the current session itself. The chief minister asked Kaul Singh to submit documents and other evidence for facilitating the enquiry.
At the same time he indicated that other subsidy complaints like those under national horticulture mission would also be enquired into and anyone found involved in such scams would not be spared.
Leader of the opposition, Vidya Stokes too stressed that the issue was of utmost importance that demanded immediate discussion.
Parliamentary affairs minister Ravinder Singh Ravi supported the Speakers contention and said that issue did not require suspension of the question hour.
Dissatisfied with the refusal to accept the motion, the entire congress opposition walked out of the house and raised slogans against
the government. Later, commenting on the walkout, Ravi who is also the IPH minister said that the stand taken by the Congress members was inconsistent with the stand taken by the party at the centyre where no minister had resigned in the wake of mega CWG, Adarsh society and multi crore 2G spectrum scams.