Shimla: Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh on Monday accused the Opposition BJP of giving more preference to the rally by their prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi in the state rather than raising issues of public interest in the Assembly, as its members abstained from the debate on budget.
"It is unfortunate that the BJP members are giving preference to their prime ministerial candidate Narendra Modi`s rally (in the state)," he said attacking the BJP.
As soon as the House assembled, Singh said that there was no other reason for them to abstain from the house as "the BJP members were giving more importance to Modi`s rally."
Modi is scheduled to address its first public rally at Sujanpur in Hamirpur district on February 16. The BJP members have not participated in the proceedings of the House for past six days, since the budget session commenced and disrupted the governor`s address, boycotted the budget speech, staged walk out and even disrupted the question hour.
Speaking on the budget in the absence of BJP MLAs, Congress member Asha Kumari described their action as "very very unfortunate" and said they were shying away from their responsibilities by not participating in budget discussions.
"The budget debated should be initiated by the Leader of Opposition (Prem Kumar Dhumal) and whatever has happened is not a healthy parliamentary practise," she added.
However, the state BJP president Satpal Singh Satti told reporters that "The chief minister was responsible for the stalemate.
He has been using derogatory remarks against Dhumal and has been insulting our legislators in the assembly. "This will not be tolerated and our protest will continue."
He said the remark of the chief minister that the "BJP legislators are bonded labourers" was humiliating. Denying that he ever made any remark dubbing the BJP legislators as "bonded labourers", Singh has already clarified in the Assembly but in the same breath added that his personal view was that the BJP legislators are "helpless".
Speaking on the budget, Maheshwar Singh of Himachal Lokhit Party (HLP) stressed on curtailing the unproductive expenditure and reducing the government paraphernalia which is putting undue burden on state exchequer.
Small state like Himachal can not afford surplus staff and many chairpersons and administrative officers when the posts of functional staff are not being filled.
He hailed the budget as impressive, progressive and beneficial for all sections. Social Justice and Women empowerment minister Dhani Ram Shandil also participated in the budge discussion.