Opposition for 5th day stages walkout, demands removal of Bindal
Shimla: Unable to move the government over its demand for sacking of health minister Rajeev Bindal, a stubborn opposition Congress stomped out of the Vidhan Sabha early during the question hour, even as the parliamentary affairs minister Ravinder Ravi sought to have a ‘no work, no pay’, rule for lawmakers for the unrelenting boycott of budget session.
With Congress not participating in the house proceedings for the 5th day, Ravi commented on the walkout staged today, “where a no work no pay principle was applied to employees, the same should be extended to legislators for failing to transact business in the house.”
Terming chief minister Prem Kumar Dhumal’s strong defense during the Governors address reply of cabinet colleague Bindal over alleged corruption charges, as betrayal, opposition leader Vidya Stokes said, “giving the minister a clean chit and backtracking for ordering a probe into the charges leveled was not what the chief minister had assured us.”
Dhumal responded that the government was ready to investigate, provided the Congress brought some material evidence to support the allegations leveled.
Bindal reiterated that he had not purchased any property since January 2008 after he became minister adding, “I am ready to face any probe.”
Trying to enforce order, a visibly annoyed Speaker Tulsi Ram said, “After having given a ruling on the matter, raising it again and again was against the rules and a wastage of the houses time.”
“Don’t force me to take some strong steps,” he cautioned.
The opposition instead asked for a CBI probe into the ministers assets and land dealings before marching out of the house.
Speaking outside the house, Stokes denied that the opposition had come to some kind of understanding with the ruling party for running the house.
“We have not diluted our stand over seeking the removal of health minister Rajeev Bindal from the cabinet. As we do not have faith in the state investigating agencies, only a CBI probe would establish the truth,” she said.