BJP, HP Assembly Speaker in war of words over walkout issue
Shimla: A war of words broke out on Friday between BJP and Himachal Pradesh Assembly Speaker over the opposition party's walkout from the House on the state budget issue.
While the BJP said it staged the walkout from the State Assembly yesterday expressing dissatisfaction over Chief Minister Virbhadra Singh's reply to the discussion on the state budget for 2013-14, Speaker BBL Butail claimed he had adjourned the House much before the opposition members' exit.
BJP member Suresh Bharadwaj raised the issue as soon as the House assembled and said, "We staged a walkout yesterday but it has been reported in a section of the press that there was no walkout and the Speaker has also been quoted as saying that there was no walkout."
However, the Speaker remained firm on his stand that he had adjourned the House first.
At this, Bharadwaj demanded that the audio-recording of the proceeding be examined to ascertain the real situation.
Joining the issue, leader of the opposition Prem Kumar Dhumal alleged changes were made in the recordings of the proceedings.
The Speaker said, "I had left the House and you were still in the House and technically it was not a walkout."
On the issue of alleged changes in the recording of the proceedings, he assured that copies of the proceedings would be provided to the opposition members and, in case, there is any erroneous change, the same would be rectified and action would be taken against the employee responsible for it.
Meanwhile, Parliamentary Affairs minister Mukesh Agnihotri also said the Speaker had adjourned the House first and Congress members were not able to speak.
He said that the government has no intention to throttle the voice of the opposition.
Later, the Speaker went ahead with the question hour and adjourned the House for five days.