Dharamsala: Don't try to act like modern Sherlock Holmes. This was the advice Himachal Pradesh Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh Wednesday gave to the Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) when the opposition party staged a walkout from the assembly over illegal felling of trees in Chamba district.
"When we have said it that we will take action (against the forest mafia), why you are talking about it time and again," Singh said.
The ruckus started during the question hour when Forest Minister Thakur Singh Bharmouri said 5,051 cases of illegal tree felling were registered between Jan 1, 2013 and Oct 31, 2014.
At this, BJP member Ravinder Ravi said the illegal tree felling was going unabated under the Congress rule. He said the latest incident was of mass tree felling in Tara Devi area (on the outskirts of Shimla).
He asked Speaker B.B.L. Butail to allow playing of a CD in the house to bring out truth in illegal tree felling in Chamba.
While the speaker did not give permission to play the CD in the house, the chief minister strongly objected to the demand.
"Don't try to act like modern Sherlock Holmes...You can't browbeat the house like this. We are not afraid of anything," the chief minister told the opposition.
When Ravi said he had already shown the CD to the media and was now interested to show it to the members of the house and the officers, Singh replied it was not a cinema house.
This agitated BJP members, who stood up and started raising slogans against the government.
The question hour was carried out in the absence of the BJP members.
Later, the chief minister gave details on illicit tree felling in the previous BJP rule.
He said the BJP was making mountain out of a mole and was raising the issue of tree felling as a part of political conspiracy.
"As many as 11,744 cases of illicit felling of trees were detected from 2007-2012 (during the BJP rule) with total volume of 7,722 cubic metre, involving value of Rs.24.23 crore. The timber seized was 3,188.6 cubic metre with a value of Rs 10.86 crore," he said.