Congress legislators gag up with black bands

Shimla : After raising allegations of corruption against Health Minister Rajeev Bindal for three days, Congress legislators took to ‘Gandhigiri’ Thursday, gagging themselves with black bands in the house.

They held a silent protest, not uttering a single word during question hour.

As the house met, opposition leader Vidya Stokes stood up and demanded an independent inquiry into allegations of Bindal’s assets.

Interrupting Stokes, Speaker Tulsi Ram asked her to sit down.

“Today (Thursday) is the fourth day of your protest. You are just wasting the time of the house. I have already given my ruling. Raking up the issue again and again is a violation of rules,” the speaker said.

“Don’t force me to take some strong steps,” he added.

As the speaker proceeded with question hour, Congress members walked towards the speaker’s podium and staged a sit-in, demanding the government end its silence on the issue.

As the question hour ended, the Congress legislators left the house. The reply of Chief Minister Prem Kumar Dhumal on the motion of thanks on the Governor’s address continued in their absence.

Congress members entered the house with black bands, inviting the speaker’s ire. He said it was against decorum and parliamentary norms.

Dhumal gave a clean to Bindal on charges of corruption.

Dubbing the Congress protest as “uncalled for and unnecessary”, he said the opposition had no issue in hand to pin down the government.

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