BJP boycotts `tainted` minister, walks out during reply

Last Updated: Friday, March 18, 2011 - 21:27

New Delhi: The BJP on Friday staged a brief
walkout from the Delhi Assembly to protest against continuance
in office of PWD Minister Raj Kumar Chauhan, whose removal has
been recommended by the Lokayukta over allegations of
misconduct.

Members of the opposition party walked out of the House
after Chauhan rose to give a reply during the Question Hour.
BJP MLA Pradumyn Rajput, who posed the query, said, "I don`t
want a reply from you as a case is against you."

They came back to the Assembly after Chauhan completed
his reply. Earlier, a question meant for the Public Works
Department Minister was answered by Health Minister A K Walia,
prompting protests by BJP legislators who wanted to know "if
Walia is the PWD Minister".

Chief Minister Sheila Dikshit then got up to say that
Walia can give reply as "we sit here as part of government."

BJP had yesterday too staged a walkout from the House
protesting the government`s "inaction" in honouring the
Lokayukta`s recommendation to remove Chauhan.

Delhi Lokayukta Justice Manmohan Sarin had last month
recommended to the President of India to "withdraw her
pleasure" for the Minister to continue in office as he
"misused" his official position while trying to protect a
leading resort in a tax evasion case. The Lokayukta had held
him guilty of "misconduct" of "grave nature".

Leader of Opposition V K Malhotra later told reporters
that they will continue to protest against Chauhan.

The BJP in the morning staged a protest near the Assembly
on the issue. Malhotra said demonstrations will be held till
the end of the Assembly session on March 31 on issues of
Chauhan, law and order and alleged irregularities in
Commonwealth Games works. BJP members will also court arrest.

The BJP legislature party also adopted a resolution
accusing Dikshit of "trying to bully the speaker" and
condemning her "autocratic behaviour".

Malhotra said Congress has repeatedly disrupted the
proceedings yesterday but the Chief Minister did not try to
stop them and rather "instigated them". On the other hand,
when the opposition members try to raise some issue, they are
marshalled out, he said.

Meanwhile, Speaker Yoganand Shastri today took up a
privilege motion moved by Congress MLA Mukesh Sharma against
Malhotra and three other BJP MLAs on the issue of accusing the
Education Department of putting pressure on government-run
schools to encourage students to adopt unfair means.

The allegation raised by BJP had prompted uproar and
repeated adjournments of the House yesterday. The Speaker said
the notice will be looked into by the assembly secretariat,
leading to protests by BJP members.

PTI



First Published: Friday, March 18, 2011 - 21:27

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